India has stepped up efforts to position itself as a global climate change leader by co-hosting the newly-founded International Solar Alliance’s (ISA) meeting.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Emmanuel Macron, during his visit to India earlier this March, co-chaired the ISA meet on March 11. The ISA is an initiative the two countries launched. Over 60 countries have signed up for the alliance, and 32 have already ratified it
India and France underlined the significance of ISA for global energy security and environmental protection.
“We want India as our first strategic partner here, and we want to be India’s first strategic partner in Europe, and even in the western world,” Macron said.
Modi urged leaders from 33 countries taking part in the ISA meet to boost investment in renewable energy to fight climate change.
Macron, on his part, pledged 700 million euros (US$861.5 million) by 2022 for new solar projects in developing countries.
The ISA has been working on a US$300-billion risk mitigation fund as part of a strategy to create a sustainable financing architecture for solar projects worldwide.
Speaking at the meet, Modi unveiled a 10-point plan saying India would generate 175 gigawatts (GW) of green energy from renewable sources by 2022, including 100 GW of solar power. India aims to achieve 40 per cent installed power capacity from renewable energy by 2030. At present, its installed renewable energy capacity is 63 GW.
ISA’s target is to undertake joint efforts to reduce the cost of finance and the cost of technology, and mobilise more than US$1 trillion by 20130.
India’s biggest solar power plant
The two leaders inaugurated India’s biggest solar power plant in Mirzapur in the country’s most populous state Uttar Pradesh. The 75 MW plant has been built in collaboration with French solar power giant Engie Solar.
The leaders also reiterated their intention to start work by the end of this year on what could become the world’s largest nuclear power plant. The leaders urged Electricite de France SA and India’s monopoly atomic energy producer, Nuclear Power Corp., to accelerate discussions on a contract and start work at the site in Jaitapur, in Maharashtra state, by December.
“Once installed, the Jaitapur project will be the largest nuclear power plant in the world, with a total capacity of 9.6 gigawatts,” a joint statement by the governments during Macron’s visit to India said.