As many as 62 member nations of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 11 March 2018 committed that they will increase share of solar power in their energy mix to deal with climate change and provide energy to underprivileged in the society. The Delhi Solar Agenda was launched in new Delhi at founding summit of ISA. Under the ISA framework as many as 32 countries have ratified the agreement, while 30 have joined the group of nations, which aim to promote solar energy as means of development particularly in developing nations.
These countries will pursue an increased share of solar energy in the final energy consumption in their respective national energy mix, as a means of tackling global challenges of climate change and as a cost effective solution by supporting and implementing policy initiatives and participation of all relevant stakeholders.
They will also facilitate affordable finance, access to appropriate, clean and environment friendly technology and undertake capacity building, including forging mutually beneficial partnerships with reputable international institutions and reputable financial institutions for the benefit of developing countries.
They committed that they would explore innovative financing mechanisms that can generate a sustainable market for the deployment of cost effective solar technologies, coupled with constructive policy initiatives to catalyse public and private investments to reduce the cost of solar projects in developing countries.
These nations will also facilitate joint ‘research and development’ efforts among member states and other stakeholders to develop appropriate business models, cost effective standards, innovative technical applications, equipments and storage designs to suit members’ climatic conditions and to realise clean and low cost operations under the agenda.
As per the agenda they will also consider off-grid solar applications to cater to the energy requirements of poorer and/or remote communities and also facilitate awareness and skills enhancement of local communities in the monitoring and maintenance of solar technologies in the member countries.
They have also decided to leverage and emphasise the key characteristics and strengths of solar energy in their national energy plans and strategies and to assist through the implementation of solar strategies.
They will proceed with the designation of national focal points and strengthen ISA to become an action-oriented and member-driven multilateral organisation.
India said that it has set up a project preparation facility (PPF) to assist its development partner countries towards preparation of viable projects that can be considered for concessions financing under lines of credit. The PPF fills the capacity gap in identifying a need, conceiving a project and preparing a proper proposal.
The PPF will provide consultancy support on grant basis to requesting governments for project formulation. It is a demand-responsive mechanism and a quick access facility to address priority needs of requesting governments.
The selected firm would then be quickly deployed to undertake the requested activity. At present as many as 13 projects worth $143 million are financed under the line of credit provided by India.