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International Solar Alliance - An alliance of more than 121 countries
Why you should care to read this GK article?
Assuming that you are preparing for bank recruitment tests, you should realize that there is a section on General Awareness that tests if you are aware of the happening around you. The happening on Economy, Sports, Industry, Trade and Policies. Who would assume that you will be a prospective bank hire without knowing the fundamentals of General Awareness? So, it is high time that you started taking the GK-in-Depth articles, the Daily GK and the Weekly GK diligently. You are shown the resources, it is on you to utilize them.
What is this alliance?
The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was unveiled by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and then French President Francois Hollande at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Paris on November 30, 2015. The idea was to form a coalition of solar resource-rich countries to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps in their energy requirements through a common approach. Towards this, the ISA has set a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030, which current French President Emmanuel Macron said would require $1 trillion to achieve.
Who are the member countries?
The ISA is open to 121 prospective member countries, most of them located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as this is the region worldwide with a surplus of bright sunlight for most of the year. But, in March 2018, the ISA has been opened to every nation that is interested to join in this group.
So far, however, only 56 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. These include Australia, Bangladesh, Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cabo Verde, Cambodia, Chad, Chile, Comoros, Costa Rica, Cote d'Ivoire, Cuba, Djibouti, Dominican, Republic, DR Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Ethiopia, Fiji, France, Gambia, Gabon, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, India, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Mozambique, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Sao Tome, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sri Lanka, Sudan, Suriname, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Tuvalu, UAE, Uganda, Vanuatu, Venezuela and Yemen.
What is India’s role?
Apart from being a founding-member, India plays a significant role in the alliance in terms of being a host as well as a major contributor to the achievement of the target. The ISA is the first international body that will have a secretariat in India near Gurugram. India, with a target to produce 100 GW of solar energy by 2022, would account for a tenth of ISA’s goal. “India will produce 175 GW electricity from renewable sources by 2022 and 100 GW will be from solar energy,” PM Modi said, addressing the ISA. PM Modi has further remarked, “Distribution of 28 crore LED bulbs in three years has saved $2 billion and 4 GW of electricity. India will also provide 500 training slots for ISA member-countries and start a solar tech mission to lead R&D.”
Prime Minister Modi's vision for the International Solar Alliance:
Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for concessional financing and less-risky funds for solar projects to raise the share of solar power in the energy basket, provide cheaper electricity and cut carbon emissions. PM Modi, the chief architect of ISA that seeks to bring together 121 nations, presented 10 action points including making affordable solar technology available to all nations, raising the share of electricity generated from photovoltaic cells in the energy mix and framing regulations and standards to support the initiative.
Innovation has to be encouraged so as to provide solutions to different needs. The ISA's major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000 GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over USD 1 trillion into solar energy by 2030.
Regulatory aspects as well as standards have to be framed which will expedite adoption of solar solutions. Solar energy policy has to be to looked at in totality for development so that it can contribute to achievement of sustainable development goals (SDGs).
Electricity from renewable sources is cheap, reliable and clean. Besides providing an alternative to polluting coal-based electricity generation, photovoltaic (PV) has big potential to power irrigation and reduce the use of back-up diesel generators. Solar energy can have a variety of uses - agriculture, solar water pumps, clean cooking.
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