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PIB – 20 October 2021

CONTENT

  1. INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE

INTERNATIONAL SOLAR ALLIANCE

Focus: GS II- International Relations

Why in News?

The fourth general assembly of The International Solar Alliance (ISA), is to be held virtually between October 18th and October 21st, 2021.

The Fourth Assembly of the ISA will deliberate on
  • The key initiatives around the operationalisation of the OSOWOG initiative,
  • The $1 trillion Solar Investment Roadmap for 2030
  • Approval of a Blended Financial Risk Mitigation Facility
  • Discuss the strategic plan of the ISA for the next five years encompassing a Country Partnership Framework, Strategy for Private Sector Engagement, and initiatives such as Viability Gap Financing scheme to facilitate affordable finance for solar energy projects across ISA’s membership. 
  • Discuss the partnership with Global Energy Alliance (GEA) to scale up technical and financial support to LDCs and SIDS.

About International Solar Alliance (ISA)

  • The International Solar Alliance is an alliance of 121 countries initiated by India, most of them being sunshine countries, which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • The primary objective of the alliance is to work for efficient consumption of solar energy to reduce dependence on fossil fuels.
  • The initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at the India Africa Summit, and a meeting of member countries ahead of the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015.
  • The Headquarters of ISA is in Gurugram, Haryana, India.
  • The Purpose of ISA is Bring together a group of nations to endorse clean energy, sustainable environment, public transport and climate
  • The membership of ISA is applicable to all UN Members.
  • The alliance is a treaty-based inter-governmental organization.
  • Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the alliance and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights.
  • After the United Nations, it is the largest grouping of states world-wide.
  • The framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance opened for signatures in Marrakech, Morocco in November 2016, and 200 countries have joined.

One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG) plan

  • The plan focuses on a framework for facilitating global cooperation, building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources (mainly solar energy) that can be seamlessly shared.
  • The vision behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
  • This is by far one of the most ambitious schemes undertaken by any country and is of global significance in terms of sharing economic benefits.
  • It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank.
  • OSOWOG plan may also leverage the International Solar Alliance (ISA), co-founded by India that has 67 countries as members.
  • With India in the middle, the solar spectrum can easily be divided into two broad zones, which are:
    • Far East including countries like Myanmar, Vietnam, Thailand, Lao, Cambodia etc.
    • Far West covering the Middle East and the Africa Region.
Three Phases of the Plan:

First Phase: 

  • It deals with the Middle East, South Asia and South-East Asia (MESASEA) interconnection.
  • Fostering cross-border energy trade is an important part of India’s Neighbourhood-first policy.
  • India has been supplying power to Bangladesh and Nepal and has been championing a South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation (SAARC) electricity grid minus Pakistan to meet electricity demand in the region.
  • The initial plans also involve setting up an under-sea link to connect with Oman in the West.

Second Phase: 

  • It deals with the MESASEA grid getting interconnected with the African power pools.

Third Phase: 

  • It is about global interconnection.
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