The Sixth Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) convened in New Delhi today, presided over by Raj Kumar Singh, Minister of Power and New & Renewable Energy, Government of India, who serves as the President of the ISA Assembly.
Ministers from 20 countries and delegates representing 116 Member and Signatory countries gathered for this important event, according to a press release.
In his opening remarks, Raj Kumar Singh emphasized the crucial role of renewable energy sources in addressing global energy challenges. He stated that renewable energy has the potential to supply 65 percent of the world's total electricity by 2030 and decarbonize 90 percent of the power sector by 2050. The International Solar Alliance is committed to making solar energy the preferred energy source, attracting investments, and ensuring ample energy availability to meet growing global demands.
To support this, ISA has expanded its Viability Gap Funding (VGF) mechanism, increasing the grant to 35% of the project cost based on the capacity and needs of member countries.
Co-President of the Assembly, Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, France's Minister of State for Development, Francophonie, and International Partnerships, emphasized France's commitment to the ISA. France has provided significant financial support for solar projects, including the construction of the Onigbolo solar power plant in Benin, bringing 25 megawatts of clean energy to the people of Benin.
She emphasized the importance of supporting partner countries in their energy transition plans, said the release.
Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General of the International Solar Alliance, stressed the need to accelerate the deployment of solar energy, particularly in developing countries and for applications that enhance the daily lives of those without reliable energy access. ISA is facilitating over 9.5 GW of solar applications in 55 developing countries and providing training to thousands of people in supporting solar energy. The organization is working on establishing STAR Centers as hubs of technology, knowledge, and expertise in solar energy, it said.
The Assembly also discussed the ISA's initiatives, including the development of solar mini-grids to provide universal energy access and mechanisms to attract private sector investment through guarantees provided by the Global Solar Facility.
In May 2020, ISA initiated Demonstration Projects in Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS) to showcase scalable solar technology applications and build the capacity of beneficiary member countries. Four projects, including solarization of the parliament building of the Republic of Malawi, solarization of health care centers in Fiji, installation of solar-powered cold storage in Seychelles, and solarization of a school in Kiribati, were inaugurated, it added.
Singh dedicated these projects to the respective countries, highlighting ISA's commitment to advancing the cause of energy transition through solar energy. The Assembly serves as the apex decision-making body of ISA and meets annually to assess the progress of solar energy deployment and discuss key initiatives related to energy access, energy security, and energy transition.
The Sixth Assembly of the International Solar Alliance demonstrated the commitment of member countries to harnessing solar energy to address global energy and environmental challenges, the release also said.