PM announces largest ever funding at International Solar Alliance meet
India on Sunday announced one of the world’s largest investment plans in solar energy at the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The $1.4 billion line of credit will cover 27 projects in 15 countries and boost the much-required financial power to the solar sector.
“India will provide assistance to 15 countries for $1.4 billion. I am happy to announce that to fill the gap of solar technology, India will start a solar technology mission with international focus, which will cover all government technical and educational institutions,” Prime Minister Narendra Modi said, announcing the unprecedented investment.
The Founding Conference was co-chaired by Mr. Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron. Mr. Modi presented a 10-point action plan aimed at making solar power more affordable while raising the share of power generated. “We have to increase the share of solar in the energy mix,” Mr. Modi said.
The solar energy sector, facing a challenge of funding, received considerable support at the conference. Mr. Macron, while pointing to the withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris Agreement on climate change, praised those who stayed the course to support the solar power on a global scale. France was committed to providing an additional €700 million in loans and support by 2022 to emerging economies for solar energy projects, he said.
“We know the hurdles. There are financial hurdles, regulations, capacity hurdles as well. We shall, therefore, lift every single one of them,” the French President said, adding, “It is not enough to look at what governments are doing. We need a new international deal with the private sector, the international public sector and civil society as well.”
Mr Macron is heading to Mirzapur where he will inaugurate a 100 MW solar power project on Monday.
Mr. Macron identified three issues to be addressed — the solar energy potential in each country should be be identified; mobilisation of finance; and the provision of a favourable framework. He said the member countries of the ISA would ensure distribution of finance and expertise. The conference was attended by 23 heads of states and governments from all over the world, including Mr. Modi and Mr. Macron.
Six vice presidents and deputy prime ministers and 19 ministers, corporations and civil society representatives participated in the mega conference.