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ISA Summit: Hybrid format Solar becoming more dominant technology

By TIOL News Service

NEW DELHI, JUNE 07, 2023: THE eighth meeting of the Standing Committee of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) was held in New Delhi on June 6, 2023, under the chairpersonship of Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy R. K. Singh, in his capacity as the Power Minister of India, the current President of the ISA. The French Republic as Co-President of the ISA Assembly was the Co-Chair of the meeting. Some representatives of member countries joined in person in Delhi, while others joined the meeting online.

The eighth meeting of the ISA Standing Committee discussed ISA Demonstration Projects in the ISA Member Countries, ISA Solar Technology Application Resource Centre (STAR-C), ISA SolarX Start up Challenge, ISA Solar Finance Facility and Preparations for the Ninth Meeting of the ISA Standing Committee and Preparations for the Sixth Session of the ISA Assembly.

In his opening remarks, the Union Minister for Power and New & Renewable Energy R. K. Singh in his capacity as President, International Solar Alliance said that the need for an energy transition is now a settled question. "Whether the world today needs an energy transition is no longer in question. Rather, the question is how to achieve it, and how soon. A new global energy economy is emerging, with the rapid growth of renewables as the alternative source of energy."

The Minister underlined the crucial role of development of solar energy in the world's achievement of making the transition to renewable energy. "The development of solar energy is one of the major contributors for achieving energy transition. The cumulative global solar PV capacity has reached approximately 942 GW since the last decade. The solar PV market maintained its record-breaking streak with new capacity installations totalling ~175 GW in 2021. With every progressing year, solar is becoming the more dominant renewable energy generation technology as the world moves towards net zero."

The Minister observed that this growth of solar energy is expected to get compounded as solar PV technology finds more applications in the distributed energy space. "Productive use applications of solar PV, agro PV, and flexible and surface integrated solar cells continue to open new avenues for deploying solar PV technology."

Limited time left for humanity to take climate action, need more funding for green energy: ISA President

The Minister stated that the ISA has been striving tirelessly towards global solar energy transition. He spoke of the contribution made by ISA initiatives including Solar Finance Facility to support development of bankable solar projects, stimulate financing through financing vehicle; SolarX Grand Challenge to help in incubating solar startups by hand-holding them to give access to manufacturers, suppliers and investors; Solar Technology Application Resource Centres to function as training centres and centre of excellence for testing, development of specification and standards and to serve as information centres to support governments and private sector on solar energy projects; and One Sun One World One Grid Initiative aimed to achieve global access to electricity.

Noting that the opportunities for contribution by ISA and member countries are truly limitless, the Minister and ISA President said that the organization will continue to contribute significantly to a greener and more sustainable world, through its nine programmes covering solar applications in multiple sectors like agriculture, health, transport, battery storage, heating and cooling and green hydrogen.

The Minister said that the challenge to the environment is something which is now becoming more and more urgent and that the time left for humankind to address this challenge is limited. "We cannot address this challenge unless and until we help the least developed countries to get access to clean energy, to make the energy transition. This has been recognized decades back, but we have not seen any conclusions coming forward. For the world to get to Net Zero, it will not happen by just a few countries getting to Net Zero. We need to ask our conscience whether we are doing enough."

The Minister told member countries that while some green funds have been set up across the world, ISA needs to ask those green funds to channel some of those funds to African countries, in a very public way. The contribution to the green funds also needs to go up, he added.

The Minister congratulated the ISA members for their role. He noted that we are continuing to transition and that ISA is taking action in the direction of energy transition. "We will see more and more projects in times to come, we will see more and more people getting electricity and the number of people without clean energy coming down."

Need to work towards accelerating worldwide investment in solar energy: France

Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie and International Partnerships and Co-President of the International Solar Alliance Assembly, who joined virtually, expressed satisfaction that the ISA has become a full-fledged international organization recognized globally. The Co-President appreciated India's leadership in its G20 presidency and thanked India for its active involvement for a new global financial pact. France said that the need for renewable energy is greater than ever and that fossil fuels need to be phased out and renewables need to be scaled up everywhere. The country representative said that active engagement of ISA is critical to making COP28 a success. She said that France supports ISA's priorities of capacity building and scaling up investment in solar energy.

The address of the Co-President can be watched here.

About the ISA

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies as a means for bringing energy access, ensuring energy security, and driving energy transition in its member countries. It is an international organisation with 93 Member countries and 115 Signatory countries and the first international intergovernmental organisation to be headquartered in India.

The ISA strives to develop and deploy cost-effective and transformational energy solutions powered by the sun to help member countries develop low-carbon growth trajectories, with particular focus on delivering impact in countries categorized as Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and the Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Being a global platform, ISA's partnerships with multilateral development banks (MDBs), development financial institutions (DFIs), private and public sector organizations, civil society and other international institutions is key to delivering the change it seeks to see in the world going ahead.

The ISA is guided by its ‘Towards 1000' strategy which aims to mobilise USD 1,000 billion of investments in solar energy solutions by 2030, while delivering energy access to 1,000 million people using clean energy solutions and resulting in installation of 1,000 GW of solar energy capacity. This would help mitigate global solar emissions to the tune of 1,000 million tonnes of CO2 every year.

ISA member countries are driving change by enacting policies and regulations, sharing best practices, agreeing on common standards, and mobilising investments. Through this work, ISA has identified and designed and tested new business models for solar projects; supported governments to make their energy legislation and policies solar-friendly through Ease of Doing Solar analytics and advisory; pooled demand for solar technology from different countries; and drove down costs; improved access to finance by reducing the risks and making the sector more attractive to private investment; increased access to solar training, data and insights for solar engineers and energy policymakers.

The ISA was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilize efforts against climate change through deployment of solar energy solutions. It was conceptualized on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in 2015. With the amendment of its Framework Agreement in 2020, all member states of the United Nations are now eligible to join the ISA.

Secretary, New & Renewable Energy, Bhupinder Singh Bhalla also attended the meeting.


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