International Solar Alliance Aims to Develop 20 GW of Solar Parks

The Union Power Minister and the President of International Solar Alliance (ISA), R.K. Singh, announced the launch of eight new and innovative initiatives at a meeting of the members of the ISA.

Some of the important initiatives announced during the meeting included solar PV technician skill development initiative, making solar bankable, an undergraduate program for Small Island Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDC), ISA Cares initiative, and initiating price exploratory global bid for providing energy access to 47 million households by solar home systems. The announcement also included the action plan for developing up to 20 GW of solar parks. The announcement also saw the launch of an ISA advisory for the manufacturers of ventilators for the use of solar kits. Besides this, a new website for the ISA was also announced.

The announcement was made through a video conference.

The alliance, which is an Indian initiative, was jointly launched by Prime Minister Modi and former French President Hollande on November 30, 2015, in Paris, on the sidelines of COP21, the UN climate conference. The ISA is a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries (which lie entirely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn) to address their special energy needs.

Last year, it was announced that the ISA would no longer be treated as a foreign source of funding.

Previously, the Commonwealth of Nations and the ISA signed a Memorandum of Understanding to expand solar power in the Commonwealth member countries. The ISA and Commonwealth have at least twenty-eight common member countries.

Recently, the University of Birmingham and the ISA announced that they would collaborate to help farmers in countries with abundant and perennial sunshine. The effort is to help farmers capitalize on chilled food distribution systems powered by solar and solar-hybrid technologies. Birmingham University is the research partner of the ISA in its Solar Cooling Initiative (I-SCI). The joint effort between the two entities is intended towards planning, research, and delivery of these technologies in ISA member countries. This has always been a part of the agenda for the ISA. The member countries located between the northern and southern hemispherical tropics are under the radar of this project.