International Solar Alliance (ISA) that push for more solar power worldwide are set to announce nearly $35 million for projects such as mini grids and rooftop installations, mainly in Africa, according to the group’s director general.
At the sidelines of the group’s annual meeting in New Delhi on Tuesday, Ajay Mathur said the International Solar Alliance expect a $25 Million investment from the Indian government, alongside its own cash injection of $10 Million for smaller solar power infrastructure.
Officials from 116 nations are discussing how to harness solar power to ramp up clean energy use and reduce reliance on planet-warming fossil fuels at the gathering, which runs until Thursday.
India’s power minister and also ISA’s president R. K. Singh said that the alliance’s funding mechanism, known as the Global Solar Facility, is aiming to raise $100 million to help deploy solar projects around the world.
Singh said the alliance is focused on getting the 733 million people worldwide currently without electricity hooked onto renewables. Then, he said at a press conference, “we are certain investments will start flowing into Africa.”
More about International Solar Alliance (ISA)
The United States, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, as well as more than 30 African countries are members of the ISA. China, the market leader in solar energy, is not yet part of the alliance.
The International Solar Alliance is an action-oriented, member-driven, collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies. Its basic motive is to facilitate energy access, ensure energy security, and drive energy transition in its member countries.
The ISA was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilise efforts against climate change through deployment of solar energy solutions.
The headquarters of ISA is in Gurugram, India. A total of 106 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement. Out of 106 nations, 86 have signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement. All member states of the United Nations are eligible to join the ISA.
ISA commits itself to three near-term objectives :
- Develop integrated solar or solar hybrid based cold chain solutions that bring economic value to farmers and producers, and include the post-harvest in-field technologies that can secure an extended shelf-life of perishable items.
- Encourage the use of sustainable, low global warming potential solar-based cooling technologies through financing and incentives for small- and medium-sized farms.
- Promote applied research and industry engagement to introduce affordable refrigeration solutions for small- and medium-sized producers with special emphasis on post-harvest processing facilities and transportation.
The ISA announced a capital infusion of $35 Million for its Global Solar Facility (GSF) a fund especially crafted for undeserved areas like Africa.
Government of India (GOI) have led the contribution by donating $25 Million and $10 Million coming directly from the ISA.
RK Singh said, “GSF aims to leverage investment to accelerate the transition to solar energy. The target for GSF is to raise $100 Million”.
GSF’s primary aim is to enable $10 Billion in Africa, providing clean energy access to more than 35 Million African households by 2030. This also means more than 200 Million individuals will be benefitted by this initiative.
Why Africa and not any other country?
Africa is deeply poverty stricken. Major part of the region is functioning on grants and loans sanctioned from world organisations and many other countries. Most parts of the area are still yet to witness clean water and free food.
Almost 8 out of 10 African individuals are unemployed despite of numerous investments in the region. The highest unemployment stat in the world.
Due to its geographical presence Africa has a huge potential in Solar energy. Even though only little has been used. Experts have confirmed that investments in Solar energies could give returns upto 10-12% YoY.
Huge investments in the country done by ISA would lead to spark in the employment sector, helping the Africans and the government.