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The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is hosting the second Assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) on 30 and 31 October 2019 New Delhi. While on 30 October 2019, coordination and consultation meetings on different aspects of ISA programmes and initiatives will be held, the Assembly would meet on 31 October 2019.
The Assembly is the supreme decision making body of the ISA, and gives directions on various administrative, financial and programme related issues. Shri R.K. Singh, Minister for New and Renewable Energy and Power is President of the ISA Assembly and Ms Brune Poirson, Minister of State for the Ecological and Inclusive Transition Govt. of France, is the Co-President of the Assembly.
As on date 81 countries of the 121 prospective member countries have signed the Framework Agreement of the ISA. Of these, 58 countries have ratified the same. The Assembly will be attended by the Ministers and delegates from member States, Observer States, ISA Partners, and other invitees. Over 400 delegates are expected to participate in the Assembly.
The first Assembly of the ISA was attended by 78 countries, and they had affirmed their determination to accelerate the deployment of solar energy worldwide for achieving universal energy access at affordable rates.Recognizing that ISA has a major role in achieving Sustainable Development Goals, and objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and that the ISA initiative would benefit the world at large, during the first Assembly of the ISA an Indian resolution to extend the Membership of the organisation to all countries that are Members of the United Nations was adopted.
Since the first Assembly on 3 October 2018, ISA has initiated many activities and programmes. Demand for over 1000 MW solar power and 300000 solar water pumps has been aggregated from ISA member countries. Some of the major activities for building domestic capacity of the ISA member countries include ITEC Master Trainers Programme at NISE Gurugram; M. Tech programme for mid-career professionals at IIT, Delhi; STAR-C programme, and development of the INFOPEDIA. In order to understand the challenges and issues ‘on the ground’ and to strengthen support for ISA programmes, the ISA sent country missions to eight countries over the course of 2019 – to Benin, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Guinea, Malawi, Mali, Niger, Togo, and Uganda. ISA has significantly extended outreach and have partnered with over 40 organizations. These broadly include UN, Multilateral Development Banks (MDBs), Development Finance Institutions (DFIs), international and regional organizations and foundations, and private sector players.
India has been providing all out support for realizing ISA’s vision and objectives. The Government of India has allotted 5 acres of land to the ISA in National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) campus, Gurugram and has released a sum of Rs. 160 crore, i.e. US$ 26 million for creating a corpus fund, building infrastructure and meeting day to day recurring expenditure of the ISA up to the year 2012-22. As per commitment, India will release additional Rs. 15 crore, i.e. US$ 2.1 million in the year 2020-21. In addition, various Public Sector Enterprises of Government of India have contributed US$ 8 million for augmenting ISA corpus fund. Apart from these, India has set aside US$ 2 Billion for solar projects in Africa out of Government of India’s US$10 Billion concessional Line of Credit (LOC) for Africa. Exim Bank of India is implementing this line of credit in close coordination with ISA countries in Africa. On the 24th September 2019, on the side-lines of the 74th UN General Assembly, India announced allocation of US$ 12 million grant, and a concessional LOC of US$ 150 Million for Pacific Islands Developing States for undertaking solar, renewable energy and climate related projects.
The ISA, is an Indian initiative that was launchedby the Prime Minister of India and the President of France on 30 November 2015 at Paris, France on the side-lines of the COP-21, with 121 solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and tropic of Capricorn as prospective members. The overarching objective of the ISA is to collectively address key common challenges to the scaling up of solar energy in ISA member countries. It also aims to undertake joint efforts required to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology, mobilize investments needed for massive deployment of solar energy, and pave the way for future technologies adapted to the needs. ISA has been positioned to help create the conditions that would make funding, developing and deploying solar applications on a large scale a reality. ISA is now perceived as key to achieving the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals and objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.