Modi launches International Solar Alliance

India launched an International Solar Alliance (ISA) at the CoP21 Climate Conference here on Monday, with an announcement by Prime Minister Modi that the revolution in the field would bring power to all citizens, and create unlimited economic opportunity.

The new body, which has invited all countries located fully or partly between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn to join, is to function from the National Institute of Solar Energy in India, Gurgaon. The Centre will provide land and $30 million to form a secretariat for the Alliance, and also support it for five years, the Prime Minister said at an event that was co-chaired with him by French President Francois Hollande.

In its launch resolution, the ISA says it seeks to share collective ambitions to reduce the cost of finance and technology that is needed to deploy solar power widely; generation and storage technologies would be adapted to the individual countries’ needs.

Among the tasks that the Alliance would pursue are, cooperation in training, building institutions, regulatory issues, common standards, and investment including joint ventures.

Addressing a packed audience, which was treated to visuals and a song on the theme, Mr.Modi said solar had created a revolution, as costs had declined sharply, technology continued to evolve and grid connectivity was improving. The response from industry was also encouraging. The Prime Minister presented “Convenient Action”, a book he has written on the Gujarat experience with solar energy and a music CD with songs on the environment to Mr. Hollande.

U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon said the United Nations would work closely with the ISA and commended India’s success in adopting the technology, as witnessed in the solar projects in Gujarat.

Union Minister of State for Power Piyush Goyal presented the goals of the ISA contained in its resolution.

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