2ND GLOBAL RE-INVEST 2018: A Resounding Success!
RE-Invest is a global platform to explore strategies for development and deployment of renewables. It showcases India’s clean energy market and the Government’s efforts to scale up capacity to meet the national energy demand in socially, economically, and ecologically sustainable ways. This year, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) hosted the First Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the 2nd Indian Ocean Rim Association (IORA) Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting, along with the 2nd Global RE-Invest Meet & Expo that concluded on October 5, 2018, at the India Expo Mart in Greater Noida. The three events were inaugurated by the Prime Minister of India, Shri Narendra Modi, in the presence of Mr Antonio Guterres, Secretary General, United Nations, on October 2, 2018, in Vigyan Bhavan, New Delhi.
Addressing the gathering at the inauguration ceremony of the RE-Invest 2018, the Prime Minister reiterated that in the last 150–200 years, mankind has been dependent on fossil fuels for energy needs and nature is now indicating that options, such as solar, wind, and water, are the sustainable energy solutions. In this context, he expressed confidence that in future, when people talk of organizations for the welfare of mankind established in the 21st century, the International Solar Alliance will be at the top of the list. Hoping that the International Solar Alliance could replace OPEC as the key global energy supplier in the future, he invested his trust on ISA being a concrete step towards climate justice.
As expected, one of the most sparkling event in the course of four days was the First Assembly of the ISA. ISA being the only international intergovernmental organization to be hosted in India, it was a matter of national pride to bring it to fruition as per the international standards. The Assembly witnessed participation from ISA’s Prospective Member Countries, Partner Countries, dignitaries from the United Nations, Presidents of Multilateral Development Banks, global funds, international financial institutions, representatives from the corporate sector and civil society. Several senior officials of ISA Member Nations, as well as industry, investors, multilateral agencies and civil society representatives also participated. The Assembly purposefully strengthened the vision and mission of the ISA, that is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation amongst solar resource rich countries where the global community, including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and other stakeholders, can make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing the use of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner. These deliberations were made during the business proceedings of the Assembly held on October 3. This was followed by three technical sessions on October 4 and 5, respectively. ISA’s 5th programme on Scaling-up Solar E-Mobility and Storage was launched during the assembly and two memorandums of understanding (MoUs) were signed—one with countries in the IORA and the other with United Nations Environment. The ISA’s 5th programme on Scaling-up Solar E-Mobility and Storage aims to promote, assess potential, harmonize demand, and pool resources for rapid deployment and scaling up of solar e-mobility and associated storage infrastructure in urban and rural areas of ISA member countries. During the assembly, ISA’s corporate partners, Coal India Limited (CIL), Power Finance Corporation (PFC) contributed US$ 1 million and India Trade Promotion Organisation (ITPO) contributed US$ 2 million to the Corpus Fund of ISA.
Besides this, on October 4, as many as 21 IORA member countries adopted the Delhi Declaration on Renewable Energy in the Indian Ocean Region. The Delhi Declaration calls for collaboration amongst IORA member states in meeting the growing demand for renewable energy in the Indian Ocean littorals, and development of a common renewable energy agenda for the Indian Ocean region to promote regional capacity building. As per the declaration, IORA member nations will collaborate with the ISA member nations to exchange knowledge and share views and potential interests in the renewable energy sector. The IORA was set up with the objective of strengthening regional cooperation and sustainable development within the Indian Ocean Region with 21 Member States and 7 Dialogue Partners. The last Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting was held on January 21, 2014, in Abu Dhabi, UAE. Subsequently, during the meeting of IORA Council of Ministers, held in October 2016 in Bali, Indonesia, it was decided that the next conference will be held in India. In line with the commitment made, India hosted the 2nd IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial meet on October 4, 2018. India, Australia, Iran IR, Indonesia Thailand, Malaysia, South Africa, Mozambique, Kenya, Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Bangladesh, Singapore, Mauritius, Madagascar, UAE, Yemen, Seychelles, Somalia, Comoros, and Oman are members of the IORA.
The three-day 2nd Global RE-Invest India-ISA Partnership Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet & Expo saw participation of over 20,000 delegates including representatives of over 77 countries out of which 40 were at the ministerial level. Over 50 plenary and technical sessions were held at the event in which 150 speakers (including 55 international speakers) participated. There were nine different country sessions, eight state sessions, and over 500 business-to- business bilateral meetings.
The country sessions were organized by countries leading in renewable energy, such as France, the USA, European Union, Australia, UK, and Finland, and experts from these countries shared the progress made in renewable energy technology. The 2nd Global RE-Invest India-ISA Partnership Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet & Expo saw inspirational addresses by leading lights such as Softbank Group Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son who said his solar energy projects in India would supply free power to ISA member countries after their 25 year-power purchase agreement.
The first day of the 2nd Global RE- Invest witnessed power-packed sessions, such as the Chief Ministerial Plenary that was attended by representatives from Himachal Pradesh, Puducherry, Andaman & Nicobar Islands, and Uttar Pradesh, who shared the renewable energy policy initiatives implemented by these states. Between October 3 and 5, states, such as Uttar Pradesh, Himachal Pradesh, Maharashtra, Karnataka, Madhya Pradesh, Gujarat, and Punjab showcased their policy initiatives to attract investors.
Addressing the gathering at the Chief Ministerial Plenary, Shri Jai Ram Thakur, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Himachal Pradesh, shared that Himachal Pradesh is planning to allot a solar power project of 1,000 MW in Lahaul Spiti, and has taken several steps to attract investments in renewable energy. “Himachal Pradesh is offering land at 1 per sq. m for renewable energy projects. The state has deferred royalty payments from renewable energy projects. Additionally, Himachal Pradesh has also taken another step to encourage the investors by declaring that for renewable energy projects of up to 25 MW, state electricity board will buy power directly.”
Shri V Narayanasamy, Hon’ble Chief Minister of Puducherry said, “The government must support innovation in renewable energy to achieve India’s ambitious targets. The government should protect domestic investors from foreign investors. It must provide subsidy, tax holiday for domestic players to set up solar panel manufacturing facilities in India.” He added, “Puducherry is a Union Territory and needs the government’s support to develop its renewable energy sector. The government’s renewable energy policy should be implementable, feasible, and acceptable.”
Briefing about the renewable energy initiatives of the Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Lt Governor of Andaman & Nicobar Islands, Admiral (Retd) Devendra Kumar Joshi said, “Andaman & Nicobaris witnessing the development of world class infrastructure and tourism projects. There will therefore be increased demand for energy and an opportunity to invest in the renewable energy sector. Projects of 45 MW of solar energy in and around Port Blair alone are planned to be set up. All new buildings in cities will mandatorily have provision for rooftop solar and this policy will be extended to rural areas.”
Minister of Additional Energy Sources in the Government of Uttar Pradesh Shri Brajesh Pathak, said, “The UP government has provided for single window online clearance of rooftop solar. We have also provided 100% stamp duty exemption on land bought for setting up solar energy plants. Additionally, UP is providing 50% concession on charges on solar electricity sold within the state and 100% concession on solar electricity sold outside the state.”
Shri Pathak called for a solar revolution akin to the country’s telecom revolution. “Every house should install a 5-kW rooftop panel and reap the returns. We shall extend all our support to institutional investors as well as to individual households to adopt solar energy. Lucknow alone has 700 km of rooftops, which can be used for solar energy generation”, he added.
The Renewable Energy Startup Awards were announced on October 5, the final day of the 2nd Global RE-Invest 2018. The awards recognize innovative technological solutions in renewable energy. Winners were felicitated during the valedictory session of the event by Shri R K Singh, Hon’ble Minister for New and Renewable Energy and Shri Piyush Goyal, Hon’ble Minister for Railways and Coal, Government of India.
A free app called S-Wurja was also launched at the valedictory session of the 2nd Global RE-Invest 2018. Developed by the National Institute of Wind Energy, the app is available on Google Playstore and Apple app store. It is a green energy tool which can be used to segregate micro level data related to solar energy and wind energy characteristics in any location in India.
The valedictory session was attended by Shri R K Singh, Shri Piyush Goyal, Mr Francisco Ismodes Mezzano, Energy Minister of Peru, and Shri Anand Kumar, Secretary, MNRE, amongst others.
Speaking at the session, Shri R K Singh, Minister of State (IC), Power and Renewable Energy said, “The RE-Invest allowed the policymakers, speakers, scientists, and businessmen to meet and interact with each other. I think this is the perfect model to bring all of them together. This conglomeration conveys that the world wants to do something about the environment by taking the renewable route. Our Prime Minister has given us another challenge of one world, one sun, one grid. It is feasible and we will also achieve it.”
Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Railways and Coal said, “I am sure a conferenceof this scale will recharge the sector. This is the take-off point for the next phase of renewable energy. I look forward to a day when sun, wind and biogas become the main source of energy. Let us lead the world to the next level of clean energy.”
Praising India for taking the lead in hosting the 2nd RE-Invest, Mr Francisco Ismodes Mezzano, Energy Minister, Peru said, “I would like to thank the Government of India for the hospitality and support. I look forward to welcome all of you to the Peru World and Sun Expo next year in November.
Dr Megha Pushpendra, Lead- Strategic Communication, International Solar Alliance, Gurugram, India