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International Solar Alliance lacks public awareness and support

International Solar Alliance lacks public awareness and support

By BizLED Bureau

Aug 30, 2016: With the International Solar Alliance approaching its first anniversary, questions are already being raised with respect to its vision, scope and future. The solar alliance, which came into force on November 30, 2015, was jointly announced by the Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President François Hollande at the UN Paris Climate Change Conference.

Following the announcement, a lot has been said and done. For instance, India has devoted financial support worth Rs.400 crore and mutual declarations were signed with the UN Development Programme and the World Bank. However, one of the biggest concerns is that the general public is still unaware about International Solar Alliance and its mission and vision. In addition, although member countries are willing to sign up for the solar declaration,they are unaware of the required procedure.

 Need to explore solar power potential in developing nations

The International Solar Alliance aims to support solar targets of various nations. However, solar power seems to be concentrated in developed nations only, particularly US Germany, Italy, Japan and China.Developing nations still remain far behind even if they possess considerably larger solar potential. The main issue is that such markets are merely seen as immature and, hence, majority of the investors play safe and ignore such markets.

READ ALSO: Indian solar firms to benefit greatly from falling module prices

,There are three factors behind solar power issues in developing nations:

  • Financing is extremely expensive for developers
  • Solar plans and policies are frequently incoherent and increase risks for developers and investors
  • Lack of research and development (R&D) investment in solar

 Aim to create global buyers’ market for solar energy

The core objective of International Solar Alliance is to take solar from rich and developed world markets to the streets of developing nations. This will help in creating a global buyers’ market for solar energy, which will further result in reduced prices, promotion of combined solar R&D, and capacity and permit to deploy present solar technologies at scale.

The financial cost for solar schemes in numerous developing nations is prohibitively high. International Solar Alliance, therefore,plans to initiate combined measures which can pave the way for the flow of more than $1 trillion into solar projects, by cumulating demand within nations, standardized asset-structuring across nations, and setting up an ecosystem of financial instruments to alleviate the investment risks.

Need for better coordination among member nations

Decentralised power businesses may not extend in the conventional sense;however it can be imitated across numerous developing nations,for instance, warehousing demand for rooftop solar development across nations. International Solar Alliance has already introduced a chief program on extending solar applications in agriculture, and has another planned program on investing off-grid energy access. Nonetheless, for any solar project to succeed, better co-ordination from member nations is a must.

Investors are prone to draw more self-assurance in a collection of nations that follow standardized templates for power purchase agreements. In addition, developers find opportunities to extend solar operations in other nations. International Solar Alliance can help in coordinating such policies.

To avoid the trap of getting locked into present solar technologies, there has to be combined R&D, which the solar alliance plans to facilitate. While the chief solar powers are already putting infinance in R&D, combined research may as well pool resources in cash and kind.

Two ongoing threats

Regardless of its motivated assurance and visions, the International Solar Alliance is facing two real threats.,Firstly, the International Solar Alliance may devolve into a bloated bureaucracy. Even though International Solar Alliance is an intergovernmental organization, it is not planned to be an archetypal international bureaucracy. Its exceedingly lean secretariat might influence networks and generate substantial opportunities for developers, innovators, financiers and manufacturers.

READ ALSO: India invites bids for 300 MW of solar projects with storage

The second threat is that 121 prospective member nations may get caught up in a fight over legal form, membership rights, and giving priority to procedure over pragmatism. This will go on to infringe the ethic of a dynamic international organization, which will definitely do no good to the member nations, public and even International Solar Alliance itself.

Hence, it is extremely vital for the chief backers of International Solar Alliance to come forward and speak in a loud and clear manner, so that each and everyone become aware of the core visions, missions and future plans of International Solar Alliance.

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