What is International Solar Alliance (ISA)?

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an initiative among solar resource rich countries to promote cooperation in the development and use of solar energy.

The ISA at present have 121 countries that lie fully or partially between the tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn where the incidence of sunlight is high.

The ISA initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21) on 30 November by Indian Prime Minister Narendera Modi and French President Francois Hollande.

The ISA’s headquarter and interim secretariat was launched by PM Narendra Modi and French PM Francois Hollande on January 25th. It is established at National Institute for Solar Energy, Gurgaon, India. This is the first major international organization with headquarter in India.

A Working Paper on ISA by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, Govt. of India, states the following as the objective of ISA:

“The overarching objective is to create a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security & sustainable development; improve access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas and to increase the standard of living.”

The alliance holds tremendous significance because of the following factors:

  1. Over the last few years, technological improvement in solar energy has made it a cheap source of energy and the progress is still going on.
  2. Indications are that solar energy is going to be a serious source of commercial energy with high scope of production in tropical regions where all countries are either poor or developing.
  3. The environment benefit of reducing carbon fuel and shifting to renewable solar is global.
  4. Developed countries should transfer technology and provide incentives to the ISA’s efforts to boost energy production.

The ISA is expected to mobilize efforts from different stakeholders to enable the developing world to adopt renewable energy technologies and thus boost the cost effective renewable energy production. “International Solar Alliance (ISA) is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach.”- adds the working paper by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy. 

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