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India and France join hands in pushing massive deployment of solar energy

India and France join hands in pushing massive deployment of solar energy

According to the joint statement
issued by France and India, the two countries have reaffirmed their commitment
to lead the fight against climate change and the push for massive deployment of
solar energy.

At the invitation of Prime Minister Shri Narendra Modi, French
President Mr Emmanuel Macron paid a State Visit to India from 10 to 12 March
2018.

Partnership for the
Planet

France and India reaffirmed their commitment to lead the
fight against climate change, based on the principles of climate justice,
fostering climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development.

Both countries committed to fully implement the Paris
Agreement at the COP24 and further on, under the United Nations Framework
Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as a part of an irreversible global
process at combating climate change for the benefit of all humanity. They also stressed the positive contribution of the One
Plant Summit in Paris on 12 December 2017 to this objective.

The French President thanked the Indian Prime Minister for
India’s support to the initiative to work on a Global Pact for the Environment.

International Solar
Alliance

On 11 March 2018, the two leaders co-hosted the Founding
Summit of the International
Solar Alliance
(ISA) in New Delhi.

The ISA
initiative was launched by France and India during the Paris Climate Conference
(COP21) in December 2015. It acquired
the state of international organisation
in December last year. It is also
the first international organization hosted in India, with its headquarters
situated in Gurugram, in the outskirts of New Delhi.

The
new international organization aims to accelerate the deployment of solar
energy in 121 sun-rich countries situated between the Tropics of Cancer and
Capricorn. These countries represent 73% of the world’s population.

Thus
far, the framework agreement defining its statutes has been signed by 58
countries and ratified by 26 of them. This is one of the most promising
coalitions to combat climate change.

23 countries
have taken part in an ISA consultation on their priorities in the fields of
solar energy for agriculture and rural areas, solar mini-grids, rooftop
installations and e-mobility. 100 priority projects have been advanced to
launch a first phase of fundraising.

The objectives of ISA are to: (1) significantly reduce the
costs of solar energy, (2) meet the high energy demand in developing countries,
and (3) combat climate change.

To achieve these objectives, the Alliance aims to implement
financial instruments to mobilize over US$1 trillion in solar energy investment
by 2030.

ISA member countries undertake to amalgamate and harmonise
their requests for finance, technologies and innovation to create a common
market in order to lower costs, strengthen quality control, better adapt
products to needs and improve technologies.

To make solar energy affordable for the poorest, the
Alliance underscores the importance of channelling capital, reducing costs
through financial mechanisms, promoting universal access to energy and
supporting the creation of common standards to guarantee appropriate product
quality in the use of products by member countries.

Credit: Government of India

Co-hosting the Founding ISA Summit in New Delhi, the two
leaders welcomed the entry into force of the Framework Agreement of the ISA. The
leaders underlined their commitment to furthering and deepening concrete
projects and programmes under the aegis of ISA to mobilise affordable financing
for massive solar energy deployment.

“India, which is
being viewed as a key player in tapping solar energy, has pledged to generate
175 gigawatts (GW) of electricity in India from renewable energy sources by
2022,” said Indian Prime Minister Modi during his
address
at the summit.

Prime Minister Modi presented a 10-point action plan that
includes making affordable solar technology available to all nations, raising
the share of electricity generated from photovoltaic cells in the energy mix
and framing regulations and standards to support the initiative.

He also called for concessional financing and less-risky
funds for solar projects to raise the share of solar power in the energy
basket, provide cheaper electricity and cut carbon emissions.

Speaking alongside Indian Prime Minister Modi, French President
Macron in his address said while the world has taken great strides in
understanding the importance of solar energy, much needs to be done.

According to Economic Times, President Macron said
that
there are financing and regulation hurdles for achieving the target
which need to be cleared by government, private sector and civil society coming
together.

Reuters
reported that France will commit 700 million euros to ISA, reiterating the
European country’s commitment to the alliance and clean energy.

The two leaders reaffirmed that the strengthening of the
India-French technological cooperation on renewable energy was a common
priority for encouraging the emergence and dissemination of innovation in all
the sectors. They stressed the importance of mobilizing public and private
funds to support the development of solar energy.

The conference is being attended by heads of 23 nations and
10 ministerial representatives of different countries, besides heads of UN
dignitaries, presidents of multilateral development banks, heads of global
funds and financial institutions and energy-related institutions.

Credit: Government of India

In support of the deployment of solar power, Prime Minister Modi
and President Macron also jointly inaugurated a 75-megawatt (MW) solar plant
built by a French company in the Indian state of Uttar Pradesh.

According to a report by Live
Mint
, the 75 MW solar plant is built at a cost of around Rs500 crore by
French firm Engie at Dadar Kalan village on the hilly terrain of the Vindhyas
range. Around 1,18,600 solar panels have been set up in over 380 acres. The
plant will generate 15.6 crore units of electricity annually, about 1.30 crore
units per month. Power would be transmitted to Jigna sub-station of Mirzapur
range of Uttar Pradesh Power Corporation Ltd, officials said.

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