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ET View: It’s action time for the International Solar Alliance

ET Bureau|
Oct 03, 2018, 06.05 PM IST
India as the host country and the prime mover of the concept must focus on ensuring that alliance emerges as a truly international body.
With the first assembly meeting of the International Solar Alliance currently underway, it is time for the sunshine club to deliver on its promise. The first assembly meeting of the alliance, which was designated as an intergovernmental body registered with the United Nations in December 2017, will focus on the building blocks of the organisation—its governance, rules and regulations that will determine the alliance’s functioning and a work plan for the coming months.

The International Solar Alliance began as a partnership between countries, the majority of which face challenges resulting from the low rates of energy-access. Most of these countries are located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. It has now been decided to expand the membership of the alliance to include all UN member states.

The alliance was designed as a platform where countries can share their experiences, work together to close technological gaps, finding solutions that could be scaled up by aggregating demand that would lead to lower costs.

At the same time, the solar alliance is more than just about energy. It is about social welfare, improving the lives of women and children, particularly young girls, who spend substantial parts of their day collecting fuel to meet their family’s energy demands for cooking, lighting a lamp or warmth. It is also about spurring economic activity. The increased deployment of solar energy will open up employment opportunities in direct and indirect ways.

India as the host country and the prime mover of the concept must focus on ensuring that alliance emerges as a truly international body. Remaining true to its action oriented focus, ISA must ensure that solar benefits are clear, tangible and describable by users; demonstrate business models that are viable for users, suppliers and financiers; and support member countries in implementing policies to upscale adoption of these business models. The time for talk is over, ISA must now focus on delivering on its promise.

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