International Solar Alliance (ISA)
The idea of this alliance was mooted by India during 21st Conference of Parties, France, 2015. ISA is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. ISA has been envisioned as a specialized platform and will contribute towards the common goal of increasing utilization and promotion of solar energy and solar applications in its member countries.
The overarching objective is to create a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security & sustainable development; improve access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas and to increase the standard of living.
To achieve the above overarching objectives, ISA, by way of supplementing the national efforts of the member countries, through appropriate means will undertake following activities:-
- Collaborations for joint research, development and demonstration, sharing information and knowledge, capacity building, supporting technology hubs and creating networks;
- Acquisition, diffusion and indigenization and absorption of knowledge, technology and skills by local stakeholders in the member countries;
iii. Creation of expert groups for development of common standards, test, monitoring and verification protocols;
- Creation of partnerships among country specific technology centres for supporting technology absorption for promoting energy security and energy access;
- Exchange of officials/ technology specialists for participation in the training programmes on different aspects of solar energy in the member countries;
- Encourage companies in the member countries to set up joint ventures;
vii. Sharing of solar energy development experiences, analysis on short- and longer-term issues in key energy supply, financing practices, business models particularly for decentralized applications and off-grid applications, including creation of local platforms focusing on implementation solutions and grass root participation;
viii. Establish new financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital in the renewable energy sector and innovative financing to develop; and
- Collaborate with other multilateral bodies like International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), International Energy Agency (IEA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN), United Nations bodies; bilateral organizations; Corporates, industry, and other stakeholders can contribute towards the goal of increasing utilization of solar energy in ISA member countries.
There are supposed to be as many as 120 member countries joining the alliance. With India taking the initiative, and providing initial seed fund, India has taken a major leap forward towards realizing its national goal of 100GW of solar energy by 2022, and also taking the stride along with the world.
Few important prospective members are:
The Two Programmes of the ISA “Affordable finance at scale”; and Programme “Scaling solar applications for agricultural use”, were launched during the event on Earth day, 2016.