An India-led global coalition of nations with substantial solar energy resources has announced grand plans to raise financial resources to expedite development in the solar power sector.
A high-ranking official of the Indian Ministry of New & Renewable Energy (MNRE) recently stated that the International Solar Alliance (ISA) aims to raise as much as $1 trillion. The funds will be used for exercises of capacity building, developing new and innovative policies, and setting up financial mechanisms to set up projects and for research and development.
The idea of the International Solar Alliance was first floated by the Indian Government to enhance cooperation among nations with significant solar power resources. The current membership of the ISA is said to be over 120 countries, mostly those located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. However, countries lying outside these latitudes are also welcome to join, the MNRE official clarified.
The first international steering committee meeting was held 18 January in Abu Dhabi.
The Alliance will look to international development banks and financial institutions like the World Bank, Asian Development Bank, and KfW. Private sector companies will also be tapped for rating capital. Fortum Energy, a Finland-based solar power project developer, has already expressed interest in contributing.
Fortum Energy recently placed a new record-low tariff bid for solar PV project in the state of Rajasthan.
The interim Secretariat of the ISA was recently inaugurated in India by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. President Hollande also made a commitment of €300 million on behalf of the French Development Agency for the ISA.
India, itself, has one of the most ambitious solar power targets in the world. The country plans to have an operational solar power capacity of 100 GW by March 2022. The current installed capacity is just over 5 GW. The solar power target is the mainstay of India’s commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions submitted to the United Nations last year.