Modi, Boris Johnson launch global solar grid initiative

Over 80 countries endorse One Sun Declaration

Published - November 02, 2021 11:03 pm IST - NEW DELHI

Future ready: ISRO has developed an application that can find locations fit for solar energy installations.

Future ready: ISRO has developed an application that can find locations fit for solar energy installations.

On the second day of the COP26, an initiative by India and the United Kingdom to tap solar energy and have it travel seamlessly across borders was announced.

It includes a group of governments called the Green Grids Initiative — One Sun One World One Grid group — and was announced at COP26 by summit host United Kingdom’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the presence of other heads of government, including U.S. President Joe Biden, the two Prime Ministers presented One Sun Declaration, endorsed by more than 80 countries, setting out the group’s aims.

“All the energy humanity uses in a year is equal to the energy that reaches the earth from the sun in a single hour. The sun never sets — every hour, half the planet is bathed in sunshine. By trading energy from sun, wind and water across borders, we can deliver more than enough clean energy to meet the needs of everyone on earth,” said Mr. Modi.

He said at the gathering that the Indian Space Research Organisation had developed an application that could compute the potential solar energy at any point on earth and help decide if it would be suitable for solar energy installations.

A Ministerial Steering Group will work towards accelerating the making of large solar power stations and wind farms in the best locations, linked together by continental-scale grids crossing national borders. The Steering Group includes France, India, the United Kingdom and the United States, and will also have representatives from Africa, the Gulf, Latin America and Southeast Asia, said an accompanying press statement by the Green Grids Initiative.

Germany attended the first meeting as an observer, while post-election negotiations on a new government continue, as did Australia.

Research support for the Green Grids Initiative is being provided by the Climate Compatible Growth consortium of universities, which includes Cambridge, Imperial College, Oxford and University College London.

The Green Grids Initiative Working Groups made up of national and international agencies have already been established for Africa and for the Asia-Pacific region. Their membership includes most major multilateral development banks, such as the African Development Bank (AfDB), the Asian Development Bank and the World Bank.

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