Prime Minister Narendra Modi could formally announce at next week’s India-Africa forum summit a global alliance of 110 countries aiming to promote solar power for meeting growing energy requirements and fight climate change.The global grouping, to be known as International Agency for Solar Policy and Application, is expected to do solar power business pegged at $100 billion by 2020.Many African countries are planning to use solar power in a big way but funds and technology constrains come in the way.
Prime Minister Modi is expected to announce a special fund for the grouping. “This could be an initiative worth taking and a befitting investment that aids economic growth and helps fight climate change for African countries,” an official said.Modi floated the solar alliance idea early this year and found several backers such as Australia, New Zealand, China, African nations and Brazil.The alliance is a commitment made by India as part of its climate action plan for 2030 to the United Nations.
“All countries located between the two tropics will be partners,” an environment ministry official explained, saying countries in Africa have agreed to be part of it. “There is an agreement that the solar alliance should have its secretariat in India since it is PM Modi’s initiative.”India is likely to provide a platform for developing countries to share technologies with each other rather than depending on costly transfer of solar technologies from Europe and the US. Rich nations often resist providing cleaner technologies to the developing world at a reasonable cost.
“Countries with high solar energy potential can share their resources and knowledge to develop new technologies which they can use to provide cheaper power to the people,” a senior official said.The initiative could help Indian solar companies as well because they would be encouraged to invest in African nations willing to provide land for mega solar parks such as the 25 developed in India.“An exhibition of Indian solar solutions will be held at the African summit to inform the heads of states on what India can offer,” said a senior official with the renewable energy ministry.