A coalition of 73 member countries, ISA was established at the end of 2015 to accelerate the demand for and use of safe, sustainable, and affordable solar energy for all. It aims to mobilize over USD 1 trillion of investment into solar projects by 2030 through focused advocacy, policy and regulatory support, capacity building, and by overcoming perceived investment barriers. Dr. Mathur replaces Mr. Upendra Tripathy, who has served as Director General since the ISA was founded in 2015.
Dr. Mathur’s leadership appointment to the ISA takes place in a year when addressing global climate change transition commitments will take center stage: 2021 started with the US’s renewed climate focus through the Biden administration and will culminate with COP26, the UN’s Climate Change Conference in the UK in November. As the sole multilateral forum dedicated to solar energy transition and building upon existing milestones, including pooling resources across its members, and creating economies of scale to reduce the cost for clean energy, ISA is poised to renew its commitment towards global solar transition through the new leadership.
Speaking at the ISA’s special assembly, Dr. Mathur, said “I am honored to lead the International Solar Alliance and am ambitious about what we can achieve together with our members and partners to transition to a safer, sustainable, equitable and more prosperous future for all through solar energy.
“ISA has a vital role to help establish the infrastructure and ecosystem for a zero-carbon emission future. With strong foundations already in place, my immediate focus is to identify and mobilize the opportunities and capital to accelerate our solarization goals in the interim and long-term.”
Dr. Mathur who will take over the leadership of ISA on March 15, brings a wealth of leadership expertise across all key areas of energy transition, from policy, research, and technology commercialization to financing, international cooperation and institutional development. Currently Director General of The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), a key driver of the energy transition to renewables and reduction in urban air pollution for the past five years, Dr. Mathur has held leadership appointments at the Bureau of Energy Efficiency and the Green Climate Fund. In 2020, he received an IconSWM-CE Lifetime Achievement Award for his contribution to environmental protection.
Ms Barbara Pompili, Minister for Ecological Transition of the French Republic and ISA Co-President added: “At a time when we have reached a new milestone with the recent decision to open ISA membership to all UN Member countries, France, as co-President of ISA, extends its full support to Dr. Mathur. We are fully confident that he is the right person to further the development of ISA, particularly through its universalization, robust governance and support to concrete initiatives to facilitate solar power deployment, such as the ‘STAR-C’ program.”
Mr. R.K. Singh, Minister for Power and New and Renewable Energy for India and ISA President, said: “The ISA has grown to become an able global body working effectively towards energy access, energy security and energy transition. I look forward to working constructively under our new Director General and alongside other esteemed Members to take this important mandate forward against a backdrop of growing support around the world for the low-carbon transition.”
COP26 President Alok Sharma said “I am delighted that Dr Ajay Mathur, an invaluable friend of COP26, is taking up this important post. The International Solar Alliance has been a key partner in driving the international collaboration we need to a low carbon future, and I look forward to working together ahead of COP26 this November.”
Outgoing Director General Mr. Upendra Tripathy commented “I am grateful to all the member countries for their trust and support over the past five years which has seen ISA grow from an idea to the go-to international organization on solar energy that it is today. It is so pleasing to see more and more countries joining the ISA to work together to pool efforts and resources to bring solar to the next level.”