INAUGURATION OF INTERIM SECRETARIAT AND FOUNDATION STONE LAYING OF THE INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE HEADQUARTERS
India moved a step closer to positioning itself as an emerging global powerhouse in solar energy when the Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, and the President of France Mr François Hollande, jointly laid the foundation stone of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Headquarters and inaugurated the interim Secretariat of the ISA in the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gwalpahari, Gurgaon on January 25, 2016. The ISA will be the First International and InterGovernmental Organization of 121 countries to have Headquarters in India with the United Nations as Strategic Partner.
The Government of India has dedicated five acre land in NISE campus for the ISA Headquarters and has also contributed Rs 175 crore for ISA corpus fund and also for meeting expenditure for the initial five years. ISA is part of Prime Minister’s vision to bring clean and affordable energy within the reach of all and create a sustainable world. It will be a new beginning for accelerating development and deployment of solar energy for achieving universal energy access and energy security of the present and future generations. Speaking on the occasion, Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi stated that ISA will be India’s first international and inter-governmental organization headquartered in India. ISA will be dedicated to promotion of solar energy for making solar energy a valuable source of affordable and reliable green and clean energy in 121 member countries. He thanked the President of France for his continued help and support in shaping ISA. Unveiling the plaque, Modi said that although the ISA will be headquartered in India, it will function as a global and independent institution meant to benefit entire mankind. He stressed, “While ISA is headquartered in Gurgaon, this will not be an institution of India alone. This will be a global institution and will function independently.” “I have met with the leaders of many small island nations and understood their concerns stemming from climate change. This alliance ensures the world gets more energy and there is also a focus on innovation,” added Prime Minister Modi at the inauguration. The Prime Minister stressed that India and France share much in common about their goal to resolve the issue of global warming. Stressing that developing countries had their developmental needs, the Prime Minister said that this cannot be possible without the use of energy and hence the dilemma before the world is how to protect the environment while meeting the developmental needs of such nations. “Energy has become an integral part of a nation’s development journey. For the past one year, the world has been deliberating on how to combat global warming. This alliance ensures the world gets more energy and there is also a focus on innovation,” Prime Minister Modi further said.
THE GOVERNMENT OF INDIA HAS DEDICATED FIVE ACRE LAND IN NISE CAMPUS FOR THE ISA HEADQUARTERS AND HAS ALSO CONTRIBUTED R175 CRORE FOR ISA CORPUS FUND AND ALSO FOR MEETING EXPENDITURE FOR THE INITIAL FIVE YEARS. ISA IS PART OF PRIME MINISTER’S VISION TO BRING CLEAN AND AFFORDABLE ENERGY WITHIN THE REACH OF ALL AND CREATE A SUSTAINABLE WORLD.
Appreciating India, the President of France, Mr François Hollande said that at the Paris Conference, India showed that it was ready to fully commit to energy transition and the fight against climate change. “The French Development Agency will allocate €300 million to solar energy over the next five years. In addition, our companies, research institutions, and diplomatic network will be mobilized to reach all the goals set by the alliance. The Solar Alliance is a gift from India to fight against climate change. France is proud to launch it with you. Thanks to India’s commitment, we were able to secure an ambitious, fair, and dynamic agreement in Paris, which is binding for all of humanity”, he said at the inauguration. He also said that India’s role will be just as essential in implementing the Paris Agreement and the commitments which have been made. Mr Hollande reaffirmed his commitment by saying that France wants to build the post-Paris Agreement world with India and ISA paving the way for this and, therefore, the Solar Alliance has full support from France. He announced that the French Development Agency will allocate €300 million for developing solar energy over the next five years in order to finance the initial projects. He stressed on the fact that contributing to the success of the Alliance also means launching Indo-French projects.
APPRECIATING INDIA, THE PRESIDENT OF FRANCE, MR FRANÇOIS HOLLANDE SAID THAT AT PARIS CONFERENCE, INDIA SHOWED THAT IT WAS READY TO FULLY COMMIT TO ENERGY TRANSITION AND THE FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE. “THE FRENCH DEVELOPMENT AGENCY WILL ALLOCATE €300 MILLION TO SOLAR ENERGY OVER THE NEXT FIVE YEARS. IN ADDITION, OUR COMPANIES, RESEARCH INSTITUTIONS, AND DIPLOMATIC NETWORK WILL BE MOBILIZED TO REACH ALL THE GOALS SET BY THE ALLIANCE. THE SOLAR ALLIANCE IS A GIFT FROM INDIA TO FIGHT AGAINST CLIMATE CHANGE.
Welcoming the dignitaries , Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of State (IC) for Power, Coal & New and Renewable Energy informed that an Interim Administrative Cell (IAC) has been made functional for facilitating transition of ISA from de facto to a de jure entity. He also stated that in addition to contribution for creating ISA corpus fund, the Government of India has offered training support for ISA member countries at NISE and also support for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers, and for other solar applications. Shri Goyal further informed that the interim ISA Secretariat has started functioning from the Surya Bhawan of NISE. He mentioned that locating ISA in NISE campus is a great value addition and both the institutions will immensely benefit from each other’s presence and establish vibrant linkages. On this occasion, the Indian Renewable Energy Development Agency (IREDA) and the Solar Energy Corporation of India (SECI) announced contribution of $1 million each to the ISA corpus fund.
Earlier, a few days before the laying of the foundation stone of the ISA Headquarters, Shri Upendra Tripathy, Secretary, MNRE, said, “The International Solar Alliance will raise $1 trillion (about Rs 67 lakh crore) from multilateral institutions and private sources. It is for the first time that an international organization is being headquartered in India.” He said the alliance will be an independent, international body, not a set-up meant to promote India’s interests. Shri Tripathy also said, “The ISA will be an alliance of 121 solar rich countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn. Many countries expressed interest in becoming members, but only those which lie between the tropics or have islands there are being admitted. Others will function as partner countries as opposed to member countries. An international steering committee of the ISA held its first meeting in Abu Dhabi on January 18, 2016. Shri Tripathy said that he expected the alliance to be fully realized after the member countries formally seek permission to join and sign the requisite documents. The ISA will make joint efforts through innovative policies, projects, programmes, capacity building measures, and financial instruments to achieve its goal of bringing “clean, affordable, and renewable energy within the reach of all”. The ISA has been envisioned as a specialized platform and will contribute towards the common goal of increasing utilization and promotion of solar energy and solar applications in its member countries. The Paris declaration on the ISA states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, financial instruments to mobilize more than $1,000 billion of investments needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy and to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and good technologies for countries’ individual needs.
THE ISA WILL MAKE JOINT EFFORTS THROUGH INNOVATIVE POLICIES, PROJECTS, PROGRAMMES, CAPACITY BUILDING MEASURES, AND FINANCIAL INSTRUMENTS TO ACHIEVE ITS GOAL OF BRINGING “CLEAN, AFFORDABLE, AND RENEWABLE ENERGY WITHIN THE REACH OF ALL”. THE ISA HAS BEEN ENVISIONED AS A SPECIALIZED PLATFORM AND WILL CONTRIBUTE TOWARDS THE COMMON GOAL OF INCREASING UTILIZATION AND PROMOTION OF SOLAR ENERGY AND SOLAR APPLICATIONS IN ITS MEMBER COUNTRIES.
Prof. Kaptan Singh Solanki, Governor, Haryana; Shri Manohar Lal, Chief Minister, Haryana; Ministers from the Government of France, and Government of UAE also graced the occasion. Representatives from over 60 resident Diplomatic Missions in New Delhi; large number of representatives from International Organizations, Indian Industry & Businesses, Media; and farmers from Haryana were present at the event. Significantly, India has emerged as one of the most vibrant markets for solar energy. In 2015, investments of $5.6 billion (around Rs 38,000 crore) to build solar energy generating capacity were announced, compared with $3.1 billion in 2014, according to a Bloomberg New Energy Finance report. The price of solar energy has also fallen sharply to Rs 4.34 per unit at which a contract was won by Finland-based Fortum Finnsurya Energy in January 2016.
Compiled by Akshay Urja Editorial Team, TERI Press, India Habitat Centre, Lodhi Road, New Delhi. Photographs Source: Press Information Bureau