World should move towards a single grid to share electricity, says Modi

The way forward has to be through fuels found above the ground, PM tells ISA

Published - October 02, 2018 10:39 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday urged world leaders to move towards a future of ‘one world, one sun, one grid’ in which countries around the world would share electricity so that none is without it.

Membership expansion

Addressing leaders of 40 countries attending the inauguration of the first general assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), Mr. Modi also said that the membership of the Alliance — so far restricted to countries between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn — would be expanded to include all member countries of the United Nations.

“Imagine a world where we would have ‘one world, one sun, one grid’,” Mr. Modi said. “In such a world, where there is no sun-down, where the sun is bright in some part of the world, where is the question of lack of energy?”

“In the last 150-200 years, humanity has used fuels from below the ground for its lighting needs,” Mr. Modi added.

“We have seen and even now are seeing how nature is protesting against this. It is continuously giving us the message that the way forward has to be through fuels found above the ground.”

This sentiment was highlighted earlier by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres in his speech, when he said that the warming of the planet was still outpacing the efforts in controlling it.

“We saw signs of hope in Paris 2015, but the current data shows that the commitments by countries are not enough to halt the warming at 2 degrees Celsius or 1.5 degrees Celsius,” Mr. Guterres said. “In other words, the warming is moving faster than we are.”

The International Solar Alliance was launched in 2015 and is headquartered in India. So far, 70 countries have signed its framework agreement and 44 have ratified it.

Ray of hope

“Today, the ISA has become a ray of hope for the world in just three years,” Mr. Modi said. “My belief is that the ISA will top the list of climate change organisations in the 21st Century. What OPEC was doing for the world, in the future the ISA will do. The role of oil wells will be replaced by the sun’s rays.”

Regarding India, the Prime Minister said that the country had set a target of 40% of electricity generation capacity from non-fossil fuels by 2030.

So far, he said, 20% of capacity is from non-hydro renewables.

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