The Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on the sidelines of COP26, aims to harness the solar potential and facilitate a faster transition to renewable energy. With the US being the latest country to join the India-led International Solar Alliance, One Sun, One World, One Grid may not be too distant a dream after all.
RE Atlas, developed by the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), a research-based think tank, is an online tool that can enable a faster transition to solar energy. This pre-feasibility tool helps identify suitable locations for solar plants. The RE Atlas takes into consideration criteria such as solar irradiation, wasteland availability, proximity to substations for power evacuation as well as proximity to road and waterways for identifying suitable land parcels.
The tool relies on a geographic information system (GIS), which can be adapted for a national, regional, or even trans-continental understanding of which parcels of land are best suited for setting up solar plants.
“We can begin with implementing OSOWOG across Asia with the help of tools like RE Atlas, with data on a country’s transmission network, data on solar irradiation, substations, and roadways,” says Thirumalai NC, the Sector Head for Materials and Strategic Studies at CSTEP. Within the next five years, India can spearhead and design systems that can synchronise the sharing of solar energy with its immediate neighbours, he adds.
Regional cooperation is the bedrock of OSOWOG and if challenges such as technology and finance are accounted for, the OSOWOG initiative can clear the pathway to clean energy and energy security around the world.
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