India-UK Launch Global Solar Grid Initiative

On the second day of the COP26, an initiative by India and the United Kingdom to tap solar energy and have it travel seamlessly across borders was announced.

Important Highlights:

  • It includes a group of governments called the Green Grids Initiative — One Sun One World One Grid group (OSOWOG) — and was announced at COP26 by summit host United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the presence of other heads of government, including U.S. President Joe Biden, the two Prime Ministers presented One Sun Declaration, endorsed by more than 80 countries, setting out the group’s aims.
  • The Indian Space Research Organisation had developed an application that could compute the potential solar energy at any point on earth and help decide if it would be suitable for solar energy installations.
  • A Ministerial Steering Group will work towards accelerating the making of large solar power stations and wind farms in the best locations, linked together by continental-scale grids crossing national borders. The Steering Group includes France, India, the United Kingdom and the United States, and will also have representatives from Africa, the Gulf, Latin America and Southeast Asia, said an accompanying press statement by the Green Grids Initiative.
  • Research support for the Green Grids Initiative is being provided by the Climate Compatible Growth consortium of universities, which includes Cambridge, Imperial College, Oxford and University College London.
  • The Green Grids Initiative Working Groups made up of national and international agencies have already been established for Africa and for the Asia-Pacific region. Their membership includes most major multilateral development banks, such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

OSOWOG or the Green Grid:

  • The vision behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
  • This is by farone of the most ambitious schemes undertaken by any country (India) and is of global significance in terms of sharing economic benefits.
  • It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank.
  • The OSOWOG plan may also leverage the International Solar Alliance (ISA), co-founded by India that has 80 countries as members.