India and France launch $1tn solar power tie-up

India has launched a global alliance with France to boost solar power generation across countries, especially in developing ones that have ample solar energy resources but insufficient capital.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) initiative was launched by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande on the first day of the UN climate change summit in Paris, France.

It is expected to operate as a collaborative platform for the tropical countries, having solar potential and support solar projects and infrastructure.

The International Solar Alliance aims to have 121 signatories, including the US and China, as well as a long list of developing countries situated between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

The members of the alliance will sign a declaration to “undertake innovative and concerted efforts” to reduce the cost of solar financing and the cost of solar technology around the world.

They will also agree to push for new solar projects around the world, with an aim to “mobilise $1.000bn” in funds (€915bn) by 2030 needed for a “massive deployment of affordable solar energy”.

Under the initiative, India expects a $100bn investment every year (€91bn), from the rich countries to the poorer ones from 2020.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi commented the announcement :

“The sun is the source of all energy. The world must turn to solar, the power of our future. We want to bring solar energy into lives and homes by making it cheaper, more reliable and easier to connect to the grid.”

ISA will be operating from the National Institute of Solar Energy in the city of Gurgaon in Haryana, India. The institute will be allocating land and $30m (€27m)to form a secretariat for the solar alliance. The initiative is expected to encourage technology exchange and innovation and create new business opportunities in India and globally.

Over the past few years Mr Modi has made solar power generation a key part of his government’s energy policy, targeting 100 gigawatts of solar power generation by 2022, up from around 4 gigawatts at the moment.

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