The International Solar Alliance is a common platform for cooperation among sun-rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn who are seeking to massively ramp up solar energy, thereby helping to bend the global greenhouse emissions curve whilst providing clean and cheap energy.
Countries, bilateral and multilateral organisations, companies, industries, and stakeholders aim to reduce the cost of finance and cost of technology for the immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, storage and technologies adapted to countries' individual needs and to mobilize billions of dollars for solar.
The initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris at the end of 2015 by the President of France and the Prime Minister of India.
French President Hollande acknowledged that developing countries need technology and capacity building to quickly take solar energy to scale, and that initial public financing and initiatives to unlock private finance is important for solar energy to take hold in developing countries.
Indian Prime Minister Modi said that he was encouraged by the industry support show so far for solar energy. He said: “the sun is the source of all energy. The world must turn to solar, the power of our future.”
The alliance includes around 80 countries that support a common declaration.
Joint efforts include innovative policies, projects, programmes, capacity building measures and financial instruments to mobilise more than USD 1 trillion dollars of investments that are needed by 2030. The reduced cost of finance would enable the undertaking of more ambitious solar energy programmes.
The aim is for countries to work together towards the deployment of appropriate benchmarks, facilitating resource assessments, supporting research and development and demonstration facilities, with a view to encourage innovative and affordable applications of solar technologies.
Five Key Focus Areas
Key focus areas to achieve these objectives are to:
- promote solar technologies, new business models and investment in the solar sector to enhance prosperity
- formulate projects and programmes to promote solar applications
- develop innovative financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital
- build a common knowledge e-Portal
- facilitate capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies and R&D among member countries
Photo credit : Hiroo Yamagata (Flickr)