India’s global initiative, the International Solar Alliance (ISA) will become a treaty-based international intergovernmental organisation on 6 December 2017, after ratification by Guinea, which will be the 15th nation to do so.
The ISA is an initiative that was jointly launched by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and the then President of France Francois Hollande on 30 November 2015 in Paris, on the sidelines of UN Climate Conference (COP-21).
Headquartered in India, the Alliance aims at addressing obstacles to deployment of solar energy through better harmonisation and aggregation of demand from solar rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn.
As of now, 46 countries have signed and 19 countries have ratified the Framework Agreement of ISA.
Australia, Bangladesh. Benin, Brazil, Burkina Faso, Cambodia, Chile, Costa Rica, Democratic Republic of Congo, Comoros, Cote d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Cuba, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, Equatorial Guiana, Fiji, France, Gabonese Republic, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea Bissau, India, Kiribati, Liberia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Nauru, Niger, Nigeria, Peru, Rwanda, Senegal, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Tanzania, Tonga, Togolese Republic, Tuvalu, UAE, Vanuatu, and Venezuela
India, France, Australia, Bangladesh, Comoros, Cuba, Fiji, Guinea, Ghana, Malawi, Mali, Mauritius, Nauru, Niger, Peru, Seychelles, Somalia, South Sudan, and Tuvalu
• The ISA Interim Secretariat has been operational as a de-facto organization since 25 January 2016.
• Three programmes - Scaling Solar Applications for Agriculture Use, Affordable Finance at Scale, and Scaling Solar Mini-grids - have been launched.
• The programmes aim to help in achieving the overall goal of increasing solar energy deployment in the ISA member countries for achieving universal energy access and speeding up economic development.
• ISA has initiated plans to launch two more programmes: Scaling Solar Rooftops and Scaling Solar E-mobility and Storage.
• The ISA has also been developing a common risk mitigating mechanism for de-risking and reducing the financial cost of solar projects in ISA member countries.
• The mechanism is expected to help diversify and pool risks on mutual public resources and unlock significant investments. An international expert group has been working on the blue print of the mechanism and it will be rolled out by December 2018.
• Another major initiative is establishment of Digital Infopedia, which will serve as a platform to enable policy makers, Ministers and corporate leaders from ISA countries to interact, connect, communicate and collaborate with one another.
India has offered to meet ISA Secretariat expenses for initial five years.
The Union Ministry of External Affairs has also set aside US$2 billion for solar projects in Africa out of Government of India's US$10 billion concessional Line of Credit (LOC) for Africa.
Government of France has also set aside Euro 300 million soft loan for solar related projects in ISA member countries.