Monday, November 30, 2015

India Set to Unveil Global Solar Alliance of 120 Countries at Paris Climate Summit

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi (L) and French President Francois Hollande (R) shake hands during a news conference at the Elysee Palace in Paris, April 10, 2015. (Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau) Click to Enlarge.
India’s prime minister Narendra Modi is poised to launch an international solar alliance of around 120 countries with the French president Fran├žoise Hollande at the Paris climate summit on Monday.

France’s climate ambassador Laurence Tubiana said that the new group would be “a true game changer”.

While signatory nations mostly hail from the tropics, several European countries are also on board.

“It is very, very exiting to see India nailing its colours to the mast and providing leadership on this issue,” said James Watson, the director of SolarPower Europe, which represents the continent’s solar photovoltaic industry.  “It will mean more opportunities for solar across the world and that can only be positive for combating climate change.”

The Indian government is reported to be investing an initial $90m (£60bn) in setting up the alliance headquarters in India, with an eventual goal of raising $400m from membership fees, and international agencies.

Companies involved in the project include Areva, Engie, Enel, HSBC France and Tata Steel. 

India wants to use cheap solar to increase energy access, particularly in remote and rural areas.

“The idea is that larger markets and bigger volumes will lead to lower costs making it possible to spur demand,” said Ajay Mathur, India’s senior negotiator and spokesperson at the Paris summit.

“The solar alliance brings together countries that have high solar resource, which have been relatively underexploited, and represents a large market for solar technology,” he said.

In its pledge to the Paris summit, India offered to draw 40% of its electricity from renewables by 2030.  The country is projected to be the world’s most populous by this time, with 1.45 billion people.

Read more at India Set to Unveil Global Solar Alliance of 120 Countries at Paris Climate Summit

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