- International Solar Alliance (ISA) was launched in 2015 by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and former President of France Francois Hollande at the 21st session of the United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP-21) in Paris, France.
- The Paris Declaration that established the ISA states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts to reduce the cost of finance and technology for deployment of solar generation assets.
- ISA was conceived as a coalition of solar-resource-rich countries (which lie either completely or partly between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn) to address their special energy needs.
- More than 60 countries have signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement.
- As guided by the Framework Agreement of the ISA, the interests and objectives of the ISA are as follows:
- To collectively address key common challenges to scale up solar energy applications in line with their needs;
- To mobilize investments of more than USD 1000 billion by 2030;
- To take coordinated action through programmes and activities launched on a voluntary basis, aimed at better harmonization, aggregation of demand, risk and resources, for promoting solar finance, solar technologies, innovation, R&D, capacity building etc.;
- Reduce the cost of finance to increase investments in solar energy in member countries by promoting innovative financial mechanisms and mobilizing finance from Institutions;
- Facilitate collaborative research and development (R&D) activities in solar energy technologies among member countries.
- Countries that do not fall between the Tropics can also join the ISA and enjoy all benefits as other members, with the exception of voting rights.
- The Permanent Secretariat of ISA will be located in India at Gurugram, the first time that an inter-governmental treaty-based alliance will have its headquarters in India. The Interim Secretariat of the ISA is located at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), Gurugram.
Why in News?
- The Fourth Assembly of the International Solar Alliance was held recently.
- New and Renewable Energy Minister and President of International Solar Alliance R.K. Singh addressed the summit virtually. He said solar energy is now the most viable option to achieve universal access to sustainable energy due to its affordability and amenability to off-grid solutions.
- Mr Singh stressed that solar energy is the most viable option for nations to rapidly de-carbonize the energy sectors.