India, France to co-host ISA Summit
India, France to co-host ISA Summit

India, France to co-host ISA Summit

India will co-host the first International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit with France on Sunday at Rashtrapati Bhavan, Delhi where in 23 Heads of nations and several ministerial representatives of different countries will discuss and debate on dealing with the identified gaps in climate related matters through a common and agreed approach.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron will be formally launching the International Solar Alliance. India and France will co-host the mega event in the presence of French President.

"India welcomes esteemed dignitaries from Guinea, Tuvalu, DR Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius for the International Solar Alliance Summit," tweeted spokesperson of the Ministry of External Affairs Raveesh Kumar.

President of Ghana, Nana Akufo-Addo, Vice President of Côte d'Ivoire Daniel Kablan Duncan and Prime Minister of Chad Pahimi Padacke are also here among others to attend the Summit. ISA is a treaty-based international body for promotion of solar energy in coordination among 121 countries, which are fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

As an initiative, it was formally launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris on November 30, 2015 by Prime Minister Modi and the then French President Francois Hollande.

The ISA initiative also is billed as a feather in Prime Minister's cap as the move was first proposed by Modi in a speech in November 2015 at Wembley Stadium in London where in he referred to sunshine countries as Suryaputra ("Sons of the Sun").

The Framework Agreement of the International Solar Alliance was later opened for signatures in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016, and 121 countries joined it. The one-day conference on Sunday will include an inaugural session, followed by plenary and technical Sessions.

MEA officials said the Summit would discuss various projects being prepared by different countries in areas including rural electrification, off grid solar, water supply and irrigation.

The deliberations will seek to promote solar energy also sharing of technology for the same. "Looking forward to co-chairing the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance with President @EmmanuelMacron on 11th March. The ISA is a unique effort that brings the world together to harness solar energy and create a cleaner as well as greener future," Modi tweeted.

According to official sources, the sessions will be attended by Heads of State and Heads of Government, dignitaries from the United Nations, Presidents of Multilateral Development Banks and global funds and financial institutions and energy-related institutions. Globally, India’s the third-biggest solar installer after China and the US.

The Union Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister R K Singh recently said in Parliament that the government had revised the target of grid connected solar energy capacities from 20 GW to 100 GW by 2022. He, however, said that at present, the indigenous manufacturing capacity is not adequate and therefore the country is still dependent on both imported as well as domestically manufactured solar panels.

The government has decided to auction 30 GW solar energy capacities each in 2018-19 and 2019-20 to achieve 100 GW grid connected capacities by 2022, officials said.

India’s solar installations have doubled from 4,313 MW in 2016. to about 9,629 MW in 2017.India’s power demand is expected to double over the next decade, but a draft “Ten Year Electricity Plan” says that this rising demand ought to be met with 275 GW of renewable energy capacity by 2027.

As a follow up of the founding conference on Sunday, India is likely to work towards finalizing mechanisms to merge Indian technology and finance capabilities with specific projects. Some of these projects may come up in Tanzania, Congo, Chad and Seychelles.

The steering committee of the ISA has decided that the grouping will open it up and invite all countries that are keen to join the International Solar Alliance to become a member. (UNI)

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