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JAN 27 2016

French President Francois Hollande hopes International Solar Alliance will help raise $1.3 billion by 2030

  • Economic Times, ET Bureau / Hyderabad
  • Created: Wed 27th JAN 2016

NEW DELHI: The International Solar Alliance (ISA) will play a key role in raising 1,200 billion euros ($1,300 billion) by 2030, to meet the solar energy targets set at the climate conference in Paris, French President Francois Hollande said

 Holland was speaking at a function to inaugurate the interim secretariat of the alliance in Gurgaon, where he and Prime Minister Narendra Modi travelled in the Delhi Metro. "We could have come by car or helicopter too, but we wanted to underline that use of public transport is also a means of reducing global warming," Modi said. The headquarters will be located on a five-acre plot on the premises of the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gurgaon. The ISA, an organisation of 121 countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn, all of which get more than 300 days of annual sunshine, was floated by India and France at the COP21meeting in Paris.

 "This institution will be located in India but it will not be an Indian institution," said Modi, speaking on the occasion. "It is a global institution and will run independently. People of different nationalities will be in charge."

 Modi noted the global dilemma, especially that of developing nations, of having to reduce global warming while at the same time ensuring development, which required increasing use of energy. "The way out lies in finding sources of affordable and sustainable energy," he said.

 Modi said he had met many leaders of small island countries in the past year and had been moved by their precarious situation. "If temperatures rise, so will sea levels and their countries will be inundated," he said. "I thought about what could be done to help them. There are so many global organisations, so why should there not be one of those which have 300 days of annual sunshine? The sun is a great source of energy. Why not use it for global progress?"

 Modi said the idea of the ISA was first floated by him during his visit to France last April. "We decided to work further on the idea and have it ready for COP21," he added. "It is interesting that to reduce global temperature, we have to use the sun's heat," he said.

 Hollande spelt out the role he expected the ISA to play. "The ISA can pool the solar demands of countries and use the resultant mass effect to bring down solar costs," he said. "We can harmonise solar markets and open them up to reduce costs, both for investors and users. National and local governments should give an impetus by providing a favourable framework for the development of solar power."

 The goal, set by COP21, was to add 1000 GW of solar power globally over the next 10 years. "The cost of 1,200 billion may seem high, but resources have been identified. There is plenty of financing available, but we have to mobilize it," he said. "India's role will be essential to achieving the goal, since India contains 17% of the world's population and is the fourth largest consumer of energy."

 With some formalities still to be completed, Hollande expected the ISA to launch operations from April 22 this year, when nations meet in New York to endorse the COP21agreements.

 He said that French development agencies have allocated 300 million towards developing solar power over the next five years

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