Non-Aligned Movement has underlined the importance of access to reliable, affordable, economically viable, socially acceptable and environmentally sound energy services for sustainable development. During the 17th NAM Summit held in Venezuela in 2016 as well as the 2018 NAM Ministerial Summit held in April 2018 in Baku, Azerbaijan, NAM emphasized the need to diversify energy by developing advanced, cleaner, more efficient, affordable and cost-effective energy technologies, including fossil fuel technologies and renewable energy technologies, and their transfer to developing countries on concessional terms in order to promote sustainable energy systems with the objective of increasing its contribution to total energy supply. NAM has emphasized the need to accelerate the development, dissemination and deployment of affordable and cleaner energy efficiency and energy conservation technologies.
In this context, NAM has welcomed the establishment of the International Solar Alliance. The initiative was launched by Prime Minister Narendra Modi at India Africa Summit, and a meeting of member countries ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015. The framework agreement of the International Solar Alliance opened for signatures in Marrakesh, Morocco in November 2016, and 121 countries have joined thus far. The ISA’s major objectives include global deployment of over 1,000GW of solar generation capacity and mobilisation of investment of over US$ 1000 billion into solar energy by 2030. As an action-oriented organisation, the ISA brings together countries with rich solar potential to aggregate global demand, thereby reducing prices through bulk purchase, facilitating the deployment of existing solar technologies at scale, and promoting collaborative solar R&D and capacity building. So far, 65 countries have signed the ISA Framework Agreement and 33 countries have signed and ratified the ISA Framework Agreement as of June 2018.
Among the countries that have signed or ratified the ISA, India has played a prominent part in promoting the use of solar energy. The first ISA summit was held in Delhi in March 2018. Addressing the conference, Indian PM Narendra Modi stressed that the importance of solar energy should be understood not only in India, but across the globe and if the world connects solar energy with other technology, then the result would be better.
The Indian PM stated that India is making fast progress in the field of renewable energy and has set a target of producing 175 GW energy by year 2022 of which 100 GW will be solar energy. Indian PM called upon developed countries to make available solar technologies and that the use of solar energy should be made for other purposes as well than just using it for light. Prime Minister Modi said that in order to boost and promote solar energy developing technologies, bringing down the prices and innovation are the most important things that need to be done. During a plenary session of the Summit, Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said that ISA is not only a testament to India’s unwavering faith in multilateralism but is also a commitment to a better, sustainable and greener future.
In June 2018, Indian Commerce and Industry Minister Suresh Prabhu said that India will be at the centre of the ‘sunshine countries’ of International Solar Alliance (ISA). Prabhu remarked government’s target of installing 20 GW of solar power by 2022 was achieved four years of ahead of schedule in January through solar parks, and India has set a fresh target of achieving 100 GW of solar power by 2022.
Thus, India has played an important role in the ongoing collective efforts by the international community by facilitating access to affordable and sustainable energy.