India’s global initiative, the International Solar Alliance (ISA), which aims at increasing solar energy deployment in member countries, will become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organization.
“In terms of its framework agreement, with ratification by Guinea as the 15th country on November 6, 2017, the ISA will become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organization tomorrow on December 6, 2017,”
The ISA is an Indian initiative, jointly launched by the Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the president of France on 30 November 2015 in Paris, on the sidelines of COP-21, the UN climate conference. It aims at addressing obstacles to deployment at the scale of solar energy through better harmonization and aggregation of demand from solar rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. Till date, 46 countries have signed and 19 countries have ratified the framework agreement of the ISA. The ISA interim secretariat has been operational as a de-facto organization since 25 January 2016.
Three programmes—scaling solar applications for agriculture use, affordable finance at scale, and scaling solar mini-grids—have been launched. These programmes will help in achieving the overall goal of increasing solar energy deployment in ISA member countries for achieving universal energy access and speeding up economic development. Further, the ISA has also been developing a common risk mitigating mechanism (CRMM) for de-risking and reducing the financial cost of solar projects in ISA member countries.
The instrument will help diversify and pool risks on mutual public resources and unlock significant investments. An international expert group has been working on the blueprint of the mechanism and it will be rolled out by December 2018. The Paris Declaration, establishing the ISA, states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment solar generation assets.
This will pave the way for the future solar generation, storage and good technologies for each prospective member country’s individual needs, by effectively mobilizing more than $1,000 billion in investments that will be required by 2030. India has offered to meet ISA secretariat expenses for the initial five years.
In addition, India has set aside $2 billion for solar projects in Africa out of the $10 billion concessional line of credit for the continent. France has also earmarked a €300 million soft loan for solar-related projects in ISA member countries.