Solar Energy – JNNSM, Solar Cities, Solar Pumps, etc.

[op-ed snap] Here comes the Sun


Mains Paper 2: IR | Important International institutions, agencies & fora, their structure, mandate

From UPSC perspective, the following things are important:

Prelims level: International Solar Alliance (ISA), Delhi Agenda

Mains level: Prospects for International Solar Alliance


International Solar Alliance & environmental diplomacy

  1. The Delhi Agenda, which kicked off the International Solar Alliance (ISA) on March 11, is a refreshing change in global environmental diplomacy
  2. The agenda’s 62 signatories agreed to increase the share of solar energy in their respective energy mix and the alliance plans to generate 1 TW of solar energy by 2030
  3. This is more than three times the current installed solar capacity, globally
  4. The coalition will facilitate “joint research and development efforts” to reduce the cost of solar projects in member nations

Challenges faced by ISA

  1. Many of the countries have poor technological capabilities that could come in the way of their leveraging the platform
  2. Even India, the club’s founder, has struggled to be competitive in manufacturing solar equipment like photovoltaics
  3. The country also requires technology to store solar energy when the sun is not shining
  4. Many of its energy-deficient African members want the club to become a facilitator of their electrification programmes
  5. For electricity-sufficient countries like Mauritius, membership of the alliance comes with an aspiration to transit to clean energy
  6. Mobilising finances will be another challenge as the alliance aims to pump in a trillion dollars into solar energy initiatives by 2030

Way forward

  1. Balancing the needs and the vastly different capacities of its members would require the ISA to develop robust procedures
  2. The alliance should also make sure that it does not become the means to advance the climate change mitigation goals of a few of its members or is reduced to an avenue of bilateral exchanges
  3. Developed countries like Australia and France partnering emerging economies like India and Brazil and small island nations like Fiji, Seychelles and Mauritius could be a potential game-changer for the renewable energy market
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