The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP 21 was held in Paris France, from 30 November to 12 December 2015. The COP21 witnessed a major alliance (ISA- International Solar Alliance) between India and France, towards their effort to combat the impacts of Climate Change.

The ISA which is a partnership of 120 solar rich countries was officially and jointly launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Holland on 30th November 2015, in Paris. The foundation-laying ceremony of the Interim Secretariat of ISA was done by both on January 25, 2016 at the National Institute of Solar Energy in Gurgaon. It has been confirmed that the ISA headquarters will come up on five acres of land in the campus of the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE).

India plays a major role in this since Government of India will support ISA by hosting its secretariat for an initial period of five years and thereafter it would be generating its own resources and become self-financed. The total financial support by India, including cost of the land, will be Rs 400 crores while the French president has committed to the amount of 300 million Euros for the initial projects of the ISA

Objective:  The objective of the alliance is

  • To create a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies, this will enhance the energy security & sustainable development.
  •  Improve access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas.

ISA plans to work on five key areas to achieve the above objectives:-

  • Promote solar technologies and investment in the solar sector to enhance income generation for the poor and global environment:
  • Formulate projects and programmes to promote solar applications:
  • Develop innovative Financial Mechanisms to reduce cost of capital:
  • Build a common Knowledge e-Portal:
  • Facilitate capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies and R&D among member countries

Following the International Solar Policy, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy has also promised to come up with a policy next month for creation of special solar zones across India having an area of 100 at least. The MNRE Secretary said that they would also explore option of hybrid zones which would have possibility of setting up both wind and solar power projects.