International Solar Alliance
On 22 April in New York City, Ministers and high representatives from Australia, Bangladesh, Bolivia, Brazil, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Maldives, Mali, Namibia, Netherlands, Nigeria, Peru, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Suriname, Uganda, Zambia, India and France met at the Headquarters of the United Nations, to mark a new stage in the formation of the International Solar Alliance. The event was co-chaired by H.E. Ms. Ségolène Royal, Minister of Environment, Energy and the Sea, in charge of International Relations on Climate, President of COP21, France, and H.E. Shri Piyush Goyal, Minister of Power, Coal, New and Renewable Energy, India.
In order to accelerate massive deployment of solar energy at various scales in their countries, participants agreed to take concerted action through targeted Programmes launched on a voluntary basis, to better harmonize and aggregate the demand for :
- solar finance, so as to lower the cost of finance and facilitate the flow of more than US $ 1000 billion investment in solar assets in member countries ;
- mature solar technologies that are currently deployed only at small scale and need to be scaled up ;
- future solar technologies and capacity building, through strategic and collaborative solar R&D, to improve the efficiency and integration of solar power as well as increase the number of solar applications available.
A common buyers’ market for solar finance, technology, innovation, capacity building etc., will lead to higher quality, lower costs, products better tailored to needs, collaborative innovation, technology ownership, and a more balanced dialogue with all stakeholders. This will empower solar-rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, which share common challenges and opportunities.
As an initial step, countries will start analysing and sharing the needs, objectives, and obstacles to deployment at scale along the value chain, for those applications for which they seek the benefits of collective action under the Alliance. On this basis, countries will design innovative Programmes leveraging initiatives from the ground.
Two first Programmes were already announced and launched by an initial group of countries during the meeting : a Programme “Affordable finance at scale” ; and a Programme “Scaling solar applications for agricultural use”. Ministers will take stock of the initial steps taken and design of Programmes at the first International Solar Alliance Conference, to be held in New Delhi, India, in the near future.
While announcing the Programmes, H.E. Mr Piyush Goyal stated that the International Solar Alliance will provide a vibrant platform to bring together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate demand for solar energy, thereby reducing prices ; promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity ; and facilitating the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale.