Home / News / World /  Modi and Hollande launch solar alliance

New Delhi: Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande on Monday launched an international solar alliance—a union of countries with abundant sunlight that Modi called his “long cherished dream". The launch came on the first day of the United Nations conference on climate change held in Paris.

“The solar alliance we are setting up today is an alliance of countries that want to seize the abundant resource of sun energy. It is a partnership of states with private stakeholders from around the world," said Hollande.

Describing coal and oil as “energies of yesterday" the French leader said: “What we are showing with the launch of the solar alliance is already an illustration of the future Paris agreement" where technology transfer is taking place.

In his address at the launch, Modi said that the “alliance brings together developed and developing countries, governments and industries, laboratories and institutions in a common enterprise".

Modi announced that the secretariat of the alliance will be set up at the India’s National Institute of Solar Energy in Gurgaon, on the outskirts of New Delhi. He pledged a fund of $30 million for the secretariat.

Stating that the alliance’s aim is to bring solar energy into lives and homes, by making it cheaper, more reliable and easier to connect to the grid, Modi said, “We will collaborate on research and innovation" and share knowledge and exchange best practices.

“We will cooperate on training and building institutions. We will discuss regulatory issues and promote common standards. We will attract investments in the solar sector, encourage joint ventures and develop innovative financing mechanisms. We will partner with other international initiatives on renewable energy," he said.

Modi said that there is already a revolution in solar energy. “Technology is evolving, costs are coming down and grid connectivity is improving," he said.

“I am delighted with the industry response. As you put clean energy within the reach of all, it will create unlimited economic opportunities that will be the foundation of the new economy of this century. We will support operations (of alliance) for five years, and together we will raise long-term funds to achieve our prescribed goals," Modi said.

“This day is the sunrise of new hope—not just for clean energy, but for villages and homes still in darkness; and for our mornings and evenings filled with a clear view of the glory of the sun," he added.

Under Modi, India has scaled up its renewable energy target from 30GW by 2016-17 to 175GW by 2021-22, which is expected to result in India cutting 326.22 million tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalent per year. Of this 175GW, the highest share would be of solar power.

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