International Solar Alliance Announced At COP21

International Solar Alliance

The creation of a global solar partnership comprising more than 120 countries, including Australia, was announced today at the 2015 Paris Climate Conference (COP21).

India’s prime minister, Narendra Modi, and French president François Hollande announced the initiative, which will be hosted at India’s National Institute of Solar Energy for five years.

The program will collaborate on research and innovation, set standards, share knowledge and exchange best practices. The Alliance will attract investments in the solar power sector, encourage joint ventures and develop innovative financing mechanisms.

“We want to bring solar energy into our lives and homes, by making it cheaper, more reliable and easier to connect to grid,” said the Prime Minister.

The PM stated India currently has 4GW of solar capacity and by the end of next year will have added another 12GW. The country has set a target of 100 GW of solar power by 2022.

“This day is the sunrise of new hope – not just for clean energy, but for villages and homes still in darkness; and for our mornings and evenings filled with a clear view of the glory of the sun,” said Prime Minister Modi; who also committed India to sourcing 40% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.

President Hollande said the initiative would mobilise public finance from wealthier countries to help bring energy access to all.

“What we are putting in place is an avant garde of countries that believe in renewable energies,” said the President.

While the majority of countries involved in the International Solar Alliance are developing nations in Africa, Asia and South America; the USA, China, Australia and several European countries are among the ISA members.

In other COP21 news,  Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull committed to doubling the government’s $100-million-a-year commitment to clean technology research and development as part of a Barack Obama and Bill Gates-led plan called Mission Innovation. The program aims to “reinvigorate and accelerate global clean energy innovation with the objective to make clean energy widely affordable.”

Mission Innovation will bring together governments and investors to take clean energy projects from research and development to commercial outcomes.