The International Solar Alliance (ISA) was conceived as a joint effort by India and France to mobilise efforts against climate change through the deployment of solar energy solutions. It was announced on the sidelines of the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris in 2015.
ISA is a collaborative platform of countries for the increased deployment of solar energy technologies as a means for bringing energy access, enhancing energy security and driving the clean energy transition in its member countries. At present, 101 countries are signatories to the ISA Framework Agreement.
The ISA is guided by its ‘Towards 1000’ strategy which aims to mobilise USD 1,000 billion of investments in solar energy solutions by 2030, while delivering energy access to 1,000 million people using clean energy solutions and resulting in installation of 1,000 GW of solar energy capacity. This would help mitigate global solar emissions to the tune of 1,000 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
Notably, ISA is the first ever treaty-based international government organisation that is headquartered in India, placing it at the centre stage for India’s role as a global climate leader. It plays an integral role advancing efforts to meet India’s target to install 450 of GW renewable energy by 2022.
When ISA was first set up, Shakti collaborated with the Council on Energy, Environment and Water (CEEW) to provide a broad range of strategic inputs to ISA for reaching out to member countries, showcasing its value proposition, along with developing its work programmes.
In the years that followed, Shakti actively engaged with the interim ISA secretariat during the ratification process and provided inputs to the alliance’s interim administrative cell to help formalise the legal institutional structure. Shakti also collaborated with ISA to develop a set of options to strengthen the value proposition of scaling solar applications for agricultural use programs and to create a template for solar roadmaps of member countries.
In 2018, Shakti joined the International Solar Alliance Global Task Force of Foundations. The task force engages with the corporate sector, foundations, think tanks, chambers of commerce and industry and promotes innovation and risk mitigation and financing. Shakti also supported TERI to host the ISA’s Corporate Conclave at the World Sustainable Development Summit 2018. This brought together corporate stakeholders such as CEOs of Forbes 2000 companies and energy ministries to discuss global experiences around solar energy deployment to improve ISA’s visibility
In August 2021, Shakti signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ISA to collaborate around opportunities in solar, energy storage and electric mobility. Under this MoU, Shakti and ISA will work together to advance national and global policy frameworks for accelerated solar deployment, facilitate the development of technical and financial feasibility research and support the ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ concept of the ISA.
There is no doubt that we must turn to renewable sources like solar to power our future. With the right investment and policy support, solar energy has the potential to boost economic development, empower millions of people and avert the climate crises. Nearly seven years since it was set up, ISA continues to set the tone for strong climate action and propel countries towards collective and flexible cooperation on solar energy.