INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE FORUM AT WORLD FUTURE ENERGY SUMMIT, ABU DHABI
In one of its first outreach programmes post-ratification, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) hosted a two-day event ‘International Solar Alliance Forum’ during January 17–18, 2018, at the Future World Energy Summit (WFES) 2018. WFES is a signature event of a global initiative, Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week, hosted by Masdar scheduled during January 15–18, 2018, at Abu Dhabi (UAE). During the ISA event, an ISA Pavilion was also set up for dissemination of information about ISA and its activities and programmes.
On the first day of the ISA Forum, January 17, 2018 the Ministerial Plenary of ISA Energy Ministers was held. The ISA Ministerial was attended by seven Energy Ministers of ISA Member countries. They presented their views on benefits of collaboration, synergies, and knowledge sharing at the international level to scale up solar energy for universal energy access and investing in innovations, technology, and R&D for solar projects followed by breakout sessions.
Delivering the keynote address on the occasion, Shri Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of State(IC) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India, congratulated ISA for organizing the ISA Forum as its first overseas outreach activity. He stated that over the years the renewable energy has become cheaper and is set to replace conventional energy, which is a healthy development, and added that India has one of the fastest growing renewable energy programmes in the world and the country would achieve its target of 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity well before 2020. The Minister said that ISA shall help mobilize sufficient funds for solar energy projects. During his address, Shri Singh announced setting up of a $350 million Solar Development Fund by the Government of India for financing of solar projects.
While formally opening the Ministerial session and welcoming the participants, Shri Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General of ISA informed about exchange of LoIs/ MoUs of ten solar related projects. He further stated that ISA shall stand for translating ‘action into transaction’. He also informed that over 100 projects shall be signed by April 2018 under the ISA umbrella. He also thanked member countries and various stakeholders making ISA a reality in a short time. The Ministerial Plenary was followed by three technical panel discussions: ‘ISA a Trillion Dollar Opportunity’; ‘Networking of R&D Institutions in ISA Countries for Solar Innovation, Incubation & Start-Ups’; and ‘Best Practices for Solar Capacity Building in ISA Countries’. These sessions were attended by energy ministers, policymakers, multilateral banks and finance institutions, R&D institutions and innovators, solar project developers and manufacturers, investors, and other stakeholders.
At the end of the ISA Ministerial session, the YES Bank committed financing solar projects of over $5 billion. M/s CLP and M/s NTPC Limited announced forging partnership deal with ISA and committed to make voluntary contribution of $1 million each to ISA fund corpus. IEA and GCF also announced entering into partnership with ISA.