Context: Eritrea and Saint Kitts and Nevis have become the newest members of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The two nations signed the ISA Framework Agreement during its second assembly held in New Delhi on October 31, 2019.
- With this, the total membership of the International Solar Alliance has risen to 83.
About the International Solar Alliance (ISA)
- It is an Indian initiative, which was launched jointly by Prime Minister of India Mr. Narendra Modi and H.E. François Hollande, President of France on 30 November 2015 in Paris, France on the side-lines of the 21st Conference of Parties (CoP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.
- The Alliance, recognising that solar energy provides potential members rich in solar resources and lying fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, with an unprecedented opportunity to bring prosperity, energy security and sustainable development to their peoples.
- The ISA Assembly is the main decision-making body of the alliance and it decides on various administrative, financial and program-related issues.
- Targets: Towards this, the ISA has set a target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030, which current French President Emmanuel Macron said would require $1 trillion to achieve.
- Membership: The ISA is open to 121 prospective member countries, most of them located between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn as this is the region worldwide with a surplus of bright sunlight for most of the year.
What is India’s role?
- The ISA is the first international body that will have a secretariat in India. India, with a target to produce 100 GW of solar energy by 2022, would account for a tenth of ISA’s goal.
- India will also provide 500 training slots for ISA member-countries and start a solar tech mission to lead R&D.
- The role of the International Solar Alliance is extremely important in fulfilling the 2030 SDG goals and objectives of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change.
- India had pledged at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 to increase the renewable energy capacity of India to 175 gigawatts (GW) by 2022 and further increase it 450 GW.
- The alliance objectives include lowering the cost of energy, increasing investment in renewable energy, training and sharing of knowledge and technology among the member nations.
- To sum up, it can be stated that ISA is certainly going to add a new dynamism to energy diplomacy in the 21st century.