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ISA summit: Narendra Modi suggests turning to Vedas to combat climate change, calls for less-risky finances to promote solar energy

Prime Minister Narendra Modi called for concessional and less-risky finances for raising the share of solar electricity in the energy mix and pledged to generate 175 gigawatts (GW) of electricity in India from renewable energy sources by 2022.

Welcoming French President Emmanuel Macron and heads of several other nations and ministerial representatives in New Delhi to take part in the inaugural edition of the International Solar Alliance Summit 2018, Modi also made reference to how the sun is considered a nurturer of life in the Vedas in his welcome address, stating that to combat climate change, "We need to look at this ancient idea to find a way".

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

File image of Prime Minister Narendra Modi. AP

Modi stressed the importance of a unified effort in the fight against climate change. "Our green future depends on what we can do together," he said.

Modi presented a 10-point action plan that includes making affordable solar technology available to all nations, raising the share of electricity generated from photovoltaic cells in the energy mix, framing regulations and standards, consultancy support for bankable solar projects and creating a network of centres for excellence.

For achieving the ISA target of over 1,000 GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over $1 trillion by 2030, Modi called for concessional financing and less-risky funds being made available for such projects.

India, he said, will generate 175 GW of electricity from renewable sources including 100 GW from solar.

ISA secretariat has to be strengthened and made professional, he said, adding that solar energy presents a permanent, affordable and reliable source for meeting energy needs of mankind.

As a demonstration of India's commitment to ISA, Modi said 500 training slots will be created for member countries and a solar technology mission will be started to lead R&D in the sector.

To supplement solar energy generation, India has distributed 28 crore LED bulbs in the last three years which have helped save $2 billion and 4GW of electricity, the prime minister said.

Macron, who is co-hosting the summit, said:

The summit, which is being co-hosted by India and France, will see them deliberate on finance mechanism for the promotion of solar energy, crowd-funding, and technology transfer. Demonstrative projects will be showcased by different nations. It is being held at Rashtrapati Bhawan Cultural Centre.

Earlier, India welcomes esteemed dignitaries from Guinea, Tuvalu, DR Congo, Gabon, Gambia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mauritius for the International Solar Alliance Summit.

Several global bankers had confirmed their participation at the event including Werner Hoyer, president and chairman, European Investment Bank, KV Kamath, president, BRICS Development Bank, Nandita Parshad, managing director, Energy and Natural Resources, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development and Banbang Susantono, vice-president, ASIAN Development Bank.

ISA, headquartered in Gurgaon, is now a treaty-based inter-governmental organisation that was established following the Paris Declaration as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its member countries.

According to the official website, ISA was launched in 2015 by Modi and then France president Francois Hollande as a "coalition of solar resource-rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach".

With inputs from PTI

Updated Date: Mar 11, 2018 12:22 PM

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