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InsightsintoEditorial:BuildingtheInternationalSolarAlliance

ByINSIGHTS

InsightsintoEditorial:BuildingtheInternationalSolarAlliance

19January2016

IndialaunchedanInternationalSolarAlliance(ISA)attherecentlyconcludedCoP21ClimateConferencein

Paris.Thealliancebringstogetherdevelopedanddevelopingcountries,governmentsandindustries,

laboratoriesandinstitutionsinacommonenterprise.

Whilelaunchingthealliance,PMModiannouncedthattherevolutioninthefieldwouldbringpowerto

allcitizens,andcreateunlimitedeconomicopportunity.

AimsofISA:ThemainaimsofISAincludereducingfinancialriskacrossalargerglobalmarket,encouraging

cooperationontechnology,buildingcapacity,andincreasingenergyaccess.

Details:

Allthecountries,locatedfullyorpartlybetweenthetropicsofCancerandCapricorn,havebeeninvited

tojointheAlliance.

HQ:ThenewbodywillfunctionfromtheNationalInstituteofSolarEnergyinIndia,Gurgaon.

TheUnionGovernmentofIndiahasannouncedthatitwillprovidelandand$30milliontoforma

secretariatfortheAlliance,andalsosupportitforfiveyears.

AmongthetasksthattheAlliancewouldpursueare,cooperationintraining,buildinginstitutions,

regulatoryissues,commonstandards,andinvestmentincludingjointventures.

Toachieveitsfixedobjective,theAllianceneedsbetween$1,000and$1,200billionoverthenext15

years,ofwhich70%couldbeprovidedbytheprivatesector.Publicbodiesarepreparedtoputupthe

balance.BothFranceandtheNetherlandshavealsoagreedtocontribute,andotherrichcountriesare

settofollowsuit.

RoleofIndia:

Indiahasacapacityoffourgigawattsandhassetatargetofadding100GWofsolarpowerby2022.

Bytheendofnextyear,Indiaisalsoplanningtoaddanother12GW.

Indiahassettheambitioustargetofdeployingnon­fossilfuelelectricitygeneratingsystemsthatsupply

40%ofthecountry’scumulativeinstalledcapacityby2030.

ThisnewallianceisasignofIndia’sleadershipontheglobalstage.UnderIndia’sleadership,theISA

couldinspireandsupportseveraldevelopedanddevelopingcountriestoadvanceonacleanenergy

pathwaybyloweringfinancingcosts,developingcommonstandards,encouragingknowledgesharing

andfacilitatingR&Dcollaborationsandco­developmentoftechnologiestomeettheSustainable

DevelopmentGoals(SDGs)announcedearlierthisyear.

ThisinitiativehasalsodemonstratedthatIndiaisnotshyofplayingtoitsstrengths.Althoughother countrieshavemoresolarpowerdeployedcurrently,Indiawillbeoneofthelargestmarketsandits

domesticpolicy(tobuild100gigawatts)hassentsignalstodevelopersandfinanciers.

RoadaheadforISA:

However,InternationalSolarAllianceisoneamongmanymultilateralandplurilateralinitiatives,whichhave

beenlaunchedinrecentyears.OtherinitiativesincludetheInternationalRenewableEnergyAgency,

RenewableEnergyPolicyNetwork,RenewableEnergyandEnergyEfficiencyPartnership,GlobalGreen

GrowthInstitute,andsoon.Asthenewestinter­governmentalinstitutionintheworld,itisimperativethatISA

carvesanicheforitselfanddemonstratesgenuinevaluetoitsmembers.

Forthealliancetobesuccessful,itisnecessarytoconsiderimplementingthefollowingsteps:

Selectadirectorgeneral(DG)withasecretariat:AdynamicDGcandrawattentiontothealliance,build

relationshipswithmemberstatesandotherinternationalinstitutions,interactwiththemediaregularly,and

developastrategicplan.TheappointmentofaDGwilltaketimeandwillrequireconsensusamongmember

states.Butagoodchoicewouldmakethedifferencebetweenleadershipthatcanarticulateandexecutea

visionandonethatfailstograspISA’spotential.

CreateacoreISAcoordinationgroup:Sinceitslaunch,theministriesofnewandrenewableenergy,

externalaffairsandotheragencieshavebeendiscussinginformallyandworkingtogethertokeeptheISA

wheelsmoving.However,sincetheworldislookingathowthisevolves,adedicatedinter­ministerialgroup

willbeneededtodistributetheworkload,allocatefunds,maintaincontactwithmemberstates,andprepare

relateddocuments.

IssueawhitepaperonISAgovernance:ISAisaninclusivemultilateralinstitutionbutthereisasyetlackof

clarityonitsgovernancestructure.Apaperoutliningalternativegovernancemodelswoulddrawinideasfrom

memberstatesandotherstakeholdersandinformdeliberationsinsubsequentmeetings.

LaunchanISAwebsite:ItshouldfeaturetheISAdeclaration,listofmembersandobservers,minutesof

meetings,proposedactivities,ameetingcalendar,governancestructure,and,eventually,outcomesofISA

activities.

IssuemonthlyISAbriefings:UntiladedicatedDGandsecretariatareinplace,regularpressbriefingsand

monthlyupdatestoallISAmembercountrieswouldbuildsupport.ThemoreISAisinthenews,themoreits

activitiesandpotentialwillgetattention.

Assessallproposalsthrougha“value­add”lens:Anumberofideasarebeginningtocomeforwardon

whatotherinstitutions(private,publicandinter­governmental)coulddotoshapeISA’sagenda,suchas

mobilisinginvestmentsordeployingprojectsinmembercountries.ItisimportantthatISAactivitiesdonot

overlapunnecessarilywiththoseofotherorganisations.A“value­add”perspective–andmeasuringeach

initiativeagainststatedaims–wouldhelpISAspecifyitsuniquepropositionforthebenefitofmembersand

investors.

Kick­startboldinitiatives:Itwouldbeusefultolaunchoneortwoboldinitiatives,whichcouldcapturethe

imaginationofISAmembers.Thiscouldtriggerinterestfrominnovators,projectdevelopers,bankersand

otherinvestors.

Establishformallinkswithprivatesectorplatforms:manyotherrenewableenergy­focusedorganisations

donothavestronglinkstotheprivatesector.ISAcandistinguishitselfbygivingprivatesectorconsortia

observerorassociatememberstatus,encouragingthemtodesignandimplementISAprogrammes,and

buildrelationshipsfortargetedinvestments.

AnnounceanISAsummitandexpo:Anannualorbiennialsummitandexpowoulddrawfurtherinterest.

BuildanISAheadquartersinNewDelhi:ISAwillneeditsrecognisablelocation,brandingandidentity.The

headquarters’designshouldconveyISA’svision,itsopenandinclusivegovernance,itsemphasisonpractical

solutionsandscale,anditspurposeofdeliveringcleanenergyaccesstomillions.

Conclusion:

Today,whentheenergysourcesandtheexcessesofourindustrialagehaveputourplanetinperil,theworld

mustturntoSuntopowerourfuture.Solartechnologyisevolving,costsarecomingdownandgrid

connectivityisimproving.Thedreamofuniversalaccesstocleanenergyisbecomingmorereal.Andthe

launchofSolarAlliancewillbethefoundationoftheneweconomyofthenewcentury.Andhencethis

initiativecanbeseenasastepintherightdirection.

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