Third Assembly of ISA | 15 Oct 2020

Why in News

Recently, India and France have been re-elected as the President and Co-President of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) for a term of two years at the virtual third Assembly of ISA.

  • The first two assemblies were held in India in 2018 and 2019.

Key Points

  • The Assembly approved institutionalising ISA’s engagement with the private and public corporate sector through the Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (CSCA).
  • Various solar awards were conferred on countries as well as institutions.
    • The Visvesvaraya award recognises the countries with a maximum floating solar capacity in each of the four regions of ISA, which are:
      • Asia Pacific Region.
      • Africa Region.
      • Europe and others Region.
      • Latin America and Caribbean Region.
    • The Kalpana Chawla award for outstanding contribution of scientists and engineers working in the field of solar energy.
    • The Diwakar award recognises organisations and institutions that have been working for the benefit of differently-abled people and have maximised the use of solar energy in the host country.
  • The Assembly was presented the report prepared by the World Resources Institute (WRI) which identifies the sources of funds, opportunities and constraints, in scaling up solar investments and the contribution of ISA in assisting Member countries.
    • The ISA will work with WRI to develop a roadmap for mobilisation of USD 1 trillion by 2030.
  • In the wake of the global pandemic, ISA responded by setting up ISA CARES (like PM-CARES in India), an initiative dedicated to the deployment of solar energy in the healthcare sector.
    • The initiative aims to solarize one primary health sector in each district of the target member countries.
  • The ISA Secretariat has launched a Seventh Programme on Solarising Heating and Cooling systems.
    • Demand for cooling alone outpaced solar deployment in 2017.
    • Heating and cooling systems have scope to directly convert solar radiation and at higher efficiency levels.
  • SAARC Development Fund’s technical assistance along with the ISA Technical Assistance is proposed to be implemented jointly with the Asian Development Bank.
  • The ISA has recently signed a tripartite agreement with the World Bank and the Government of India and is now actively involved in preparing a vision and implementation plan for “One Sun, One World, One Grid” Initiative to harness the power of interconnected grids for enabling energy transition to a low-carbon world.
  • India’s Perspective and Highlights:
    • The President of the ISA Assembly, India’s Power and New and Renewable Energy Minister appreciated the Alliance Members coming together to work for combating climate change.
    • He also highlighted various activities and programmes initiated by ISA since the 2nd Assembly like the development of a pipeline of more than USD 5 billion, aggregated demand for more than 270,000 solar pumps across 22 countries, etc.
  • France’s Role:
    • France has committed 1.5 billion Euros for financing solar projects in ISA member states up until 2022.
    • The first project under the Solar Risk Mitigation Initiative (SRMI) is being launched in Mozambique with the support of France and the European Union (EU).
      • SRMI will help mobilise billions in private investment to finance more than 10 GWs of solar projects.
    • In the frame of the ISA’s Solar Technology Application Resource Centre (Star-C) programme, the French National Institute for Solar Energy (INES) will launch a specific program for the small island states of the Pacific.

International Solar Alliance

  • It is an Indian initiative that was launched by the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30th November 2015 in Paris, France on the side-lines of the Conference of the Parties (COP-21), with 121 solar resource-rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn as prospective members.
  • Objective: To collectively address key common challenges to the scaling up of solar energy in ISA member countries.
  • Members: Till now, 87 countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA and of these 67 have deposited their instruments of ratification.
    • Nicaragua, a Central American country is the 87th and the latest country to sign the agreement.
  • The Government of India has allotted 5 acres of land to the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) campus, Gurugram and has released a sum of Rs. 160 crore for creating a corpus fund, building infrastructure and meeting day to day recurring expenditure of the ISA up to the year 2021-22.

Source: PIB