International Solar Alliance gathers steam, summit in New Delhi next year
The International Solar Alliance, led by France and India, is bringing together investors and financers in high-profile events in New Delhi, Kenya, Peru and Indonesia – countries with high solar potential in three different continents. The next investment summit is scheduled for February 2017 in New Delhi, after which it will be held in other countries, Upendra Tripathy, secretary, ministry of new and renewable energy, told ET. “We have sent letters to these countries and they have almost agreed,” said Tripathy, who is also the chairperson of the interim administrative cell of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The previous summit in India — called RE Invest and held in February 2015 — netted commitments from 14 companies across seven countries to install 58,000 MW of renewable energy in India in five years till 2020. Among local companies, 22 public sector undertakings (PSUs) pledged to set up 18,000 MW, while 257 private ones promised 190,000 MW. Banks and NBFCs committed Rs 3.94 lakh crore to finance these projects, of which, by February 2016, Rs 71,201.54 crore (18.63%) had been sanctioned and Rs 29,529.57 crore (7.5%) disbursed. The ISA, set up jointly by India and France on the sidelines of the COP21 climate conference in Paris last year, has been steadily building its organisation and establishing linkages. It has set up a steering committee which has held three meetings so far in Paris, Abu Dhabi and New York, the last being in April. Keen on developing synergies with agencies already engaged in promoting solar power, the ISA in April also entered into a partnership with the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). It will supplement UNDP’s existing programmes on solar energy, putting in complementary effort, facilitating technology transfers between ISA member countries and other UN countries, helping in capacity building, and more. A key function of the ISA will be arranging easier finance for the solar projects of member countries. “We’re trying to get multilateral banks to set up trusts to finance solar projects. We want them to earmark 15% of the funds they disburse for solar,” said Tripathy. India will provide financial assistance of around $10 billion over the next five years to select African nations. “We are requesting them to use around 15% of this for solar,” he said..