At the first Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), the second IORA Renewable Energy Ministerial Meeting, and the 2nd Global Renewable Energy Investors’ Meet and Expo (RE-Invest 2018), which is taking place from October 3 to 5 at the India Expo Centre, Greater Noida, just outside of Delhi, Prime Minister Narendra Modi laid out a bold plan for renewables.
“This is just the beginning, the coming times will present many more opportunities. We have to identify and succeed in every opportunity related to climate action. We wish that innovations from across the globe are brought together at this (ISA) platform,” announced Modi, while highlighting the achievements of the ISA with India as a major facilitator.
As a key message, Modi said he dreamt of “one world, one sun, one grid” – where sunlight is tapped for 24 hours, so that access to electricity is never lost as the sun sets in any part of the world. Before this, he said the ISA could replace the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) as the key global energy supplier in the future.
Modi further confirmed that India is successfully progressing towards its renewable energy aim of 175 GW by 2022, and will achieve the goal on time.
“In the last four years, India has emerged as the most favored destination for renewable energy, attracting investments amounting to US$42 billion. We wish India to have a strong manufacturing system, which represents a golden opportunity for investment. In the next four years, the country would receive another US$ 70-80 billion of investments in this sector,” he said.
Modi went on to say that India has doubled its renewable energy capacity in the last four years, by adding around 36 GW. Solar capacity alone has jumped by over nine times to reach about 23 GW in the same time period.
40% from non-fossil fuel-based sources
Prime Minister Modi went on to say that India is working towards the goals of the Paris Agreement through an action plan. He said the target is to meet 40% of India’s total energy requirements in 2030 with non fossil fuel-based sources.
Modi said efforts are also being made to make India’s transport system clean fuel-based with a shift towards electric vehicles.
Highlighting the importance of energy storage along with power generation, he mentioned that the government is working on the National Energy Storage Mission, which will focus on demand creation, indigenous manufacturing, innovation and policy aspects.
To date, out of 121 prospective member countries that lie either fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, 70 countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA. Forty four of these countries have ratified the ISA treaty.
“ISA should aim to include not just the 125 tropical nations, but the whole world should benefit from this alliance,” said Modi. The prime minister said that the country would call upon other nations to join the ISA as members at the UN General Assembly meet next year.
In March this year, Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron co-hosted the founding conference of the ISA. Recognizing their bold leadership in promotion of solar energy, the UN has bestowed them with Champion of the Earth 2018 award.
Addressing the gathering, Secretary General of United Nations, Antonio Guterres said that climate change is an existential threat for all. He emphasized that the ISA represents the future of energy scenarios the world over. Pointing out that the world is witnessing a global renewable energy revolution, the UN Secretary General hoped that the age of fossil fuels will end with a replacement for them.
Speaking on the occasion, Union Minister of External Affairs, Sushma Swaraj said that the ISA is an endearing reality. She pointed out that the goal of the three events inaugurated is to promote sustainable development for a better world.
The business and technical sessions of ISA Assembly, IORA Meet and RE-Invest 2018 Expo will be held at India Expo Mart, Greater Noida, Uttar Pradesh from October 3-5, 2018.
The first Assembly aims to lay the foundation for the global solar agenda. The Assembly, as supreme decision making body of the ISA, will steer the process to significantly harness solar energy for achieving universal energy access at affordable rates. It will touch upon various administration and finance related issues.