International Solar Alliance set to be operational in 6 months

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An International Solar Alliance (ISA) is likely to be operational by the middle of 2016, a government official said.

The initiative was announced by Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, at the Conference of Parties in (COP 21) in Paris last November. Mr. Modi and French President François Hollande would lay the foundation stone of the alliance at the National Institute of Solar Energy in Gurgaon, Haryana on January 25.

“We are hopeful that the statute for the creation of the international alliance will be signed around June,” Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy told reporters on Thursday. The international alliance is expected to have 121 members.

It comprises of countries with land between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Tropic of Cancer which typically have 300 or more days of sunshine a year.

“One of the objectives of the alliance is to get $1 trillion investments in the solar sector worldwide by 2030. Another objective is to get solar sector-specific human resources development in all member countries and ensure that any research and development in a country becomes available to all,” Mr. Tripathy said.

“This will be the first time that India will have the headquarters of an international agency,” Mr. Tripathy said. The government of India will host the ISA’s Secretariat for five years, following which it is expected to generate its own resources and become truly independent.

India has already offered Rs. 100 crore for an ISA corpus, which is expected to grow to $1 billion when all the member countries contribute, Mr. Tripathy said.

Following the signing of the statute, each member country will have to send the document to their Cabinets or Parliaments for ratification within three months. The International Solar Alliance will become a legal entity after a minimum of 25 countries ratify it.

He added that while only countries between the two Tropics will be eligible as members, others can join as partners. Around 30 countries were present at each of the two Steering Committee meetings held so far.

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