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A slew of partnership agreements were inked on Tuesday at the first World Solar Technology Summit hosted by the International Solar Alliance (ISA). These include ISA being given the nodal agency mandate for implementing India’s global electricity grid plan.

Another partnership agreement signed by ISA was with state-run NTPC Ltd, which will help India’s largest power generation utility secure solar projects in 47 least developed and small island developing ISA member countries.

The first treaty-based international government organization headquartered in India has become a significant foreign policy tool for New Delhi even as China attempts to co-opt countries into its ambitious One Belt One Road initiative. As many as 86 countries have signed the ISA framework agreement and 68 have ratified it. Germany has also expressed an interest in joining ISA.

India announced lines of credit worth $1.4 billion for 27 solar projects across 15 countries in 2018 that are under implementation. ISA will manage the bid process and the global grid implementation plan, according to the partnership agreement inked between the ISA, the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) and the World Bank.

India has been trying to leverage ISA to execute the ambitious ‘One Sun One World One Grid’ plan that seeks to transfer solar power generated in one region to feed the electricity demands of others and fulfil India’s aim of becoming an electricity exporter. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has also been championing the global electricity grid plan.

“The ISA is a part of the One Sun One World One Grid project. I firmly believe that this project can bring transformational benefits for the entire humanity," Modi said in a message read out at the summit by ISA president and India’s power and renewable energy minister Raj Kumar Singh.

The other marquee partnerships inked on Tuesday include one between Seoul-headquartered Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI) and ISA for providing technical assistance in deploying one million solar irrigation pumps. This will be implemented in Uganda, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Senegal, Mozambique, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga, and Kiribati and may get extended to other ISA member nations later.

“We look forward to collaborating with ISA to support deployment of 1 million solar pumps over the next five years. Both organizations have a common goal of supporting developing countries to achieve green growth and sustainable development," said Frank Rijsberman, director-general, GGGI in an emailed statement to Mint.

ISA also signed a partnership agreement with the Paris-headquartered International Institute of Refrigeration for setting up solar heating and cooling demonstration projects in member countries.

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