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Title International Solar Alliance to launch 121 projects at New Delhi summit
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Date 2018-03-28 AM 9:58:33 Hit 150
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As India gears up to host the first International Solar Alliance (ISA) summit next month, efforts are underway to provide a momentum to solar deployments in over 120 sunshine countries.
 
ISA, a brainchild of India and France launched at the Paris climate summit in 2015 with the aim to efficiently exploit solar energy in the countries that lie between the tropics, expects to ink a host country agreement just ahead of the big day. The agreement is to be signed between the ISA and India, the latter being the nation that is home to its headquarters and is leading the intergovernmental coalition to kick-start solar projects globally.
 
The agreement that India is hoping will be sealed by March 9 will provide operational autonomy to the host country for basic functioning like recruitments, signing contracts and issuing of tenders, which are crucial for the implementation of solar programmes that are to be undertaken under the ISA.
 
The one-day ISA summit that will be held on March 11 at the President house in the capital city of Delhi will be an important one, given that it will be the first summit for the ISA since it became a legal entity In December last year following ratification by more than 15 countries.
 
Two new programmes — on scaling solar E-mobility and storage, and on rooftop solar — are expected to be unveiled at the summit that will see a presence of heads of over 50 member countries including France and India, who had jointly launched the sunshine coalition at the 2015 climate summit in Paris.
 
 
121 solar projects
It is also expected that 121 solar projects — the number representing the number of member countries in the alliance — will get a green signal at the summit. The final list of the 121 projects is yet to be released. The upcoming ISA summit was to be held in December last year but was postponed at the last minute due to Gujarat state elections.
The ISA is the first treaty-based intergovernmental organization to be based in India that aims to help sunshine-rich developing countries tap solar energy at more affordable prices through aggregating both demand and risks in order to bring down costs and secure investments of solar developers.
 
The coalition has already launched three programmes. The first one, called scaling solar applications for agricultural use, aims to promote solar water pumps instead of diesel pumps for irrigation to benefit both farmers and the environment. The second programme focuses on scaling up affordable financing for solar while the third aims to promote solar mini-grids, especially in the least developed and small island countries.
 
Talking about how ISA is generating demand for solar during a discussion at the World Sustainable Development Summit that was organized by the Energy and Resources Institute (TERI) between February 15-17, Upendra Tripathy, Interim Director General of ISA, said, “We have aggregated demand of 500,000 solar water pumps and we are aggregating risks as well for going for a global tender. For example, Bangladesh has said they need 50,000 pumps every year and India has said it needs 100,000 pumps in the next three years. Similarly, we are putting together demand from Mauritius and Uganda as well. We are mobilizing 500,000 pumps, and with the global tender, prices will come down. Industries are the best stakeholders that can bring this sort of change in the fields.”
Calling the first programme as a win-win situation both for the farmers and the environment, Tripathy said, “In India, we have 7.5 million diesel pumps. In ISA countries, we are trying to do a census of how many diesel pumps are used. Also, when a farmer installs a pump, he needs to erect five poles just to supply electricity to it which cost INR 2.5 lakh (USD 3,880).”
 
 
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