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Bloomberg
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NTPC looks to expand foothold as India hosts solar meet today

  • The World Solar Technology Summit will be attended by ministers of 67 ISA member nations
  • ISA will be appointed as the nodal agency to implement India’s global electricity grid plans at the solar summit

The first World Solar Technology Summit of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) to be hosted by India on Tuesday will see efforts to help NTPC Ltd secure solar projects in ISA’s 47 least developed and small island members, two people aware of the development said, adding the ISA will also be appointed as the nodal agency to implement India’s global electricity grid plans.

ISA will also help provide solar pumps for Uganda, Burkina Faso, Ethiopia, Senegal, Mozambique, Fiji, Vanuatu, Tonga and Kiribati, an assistance which may be extended later to other ISA member countries by partnering with Seoul-based Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI).

ISA has managed to bring down the cost of solar pumps by half, Mint reported earlier. India’s state-run Energy Efficiency Services Ltd conducted the largest global price discovery exercise by aggregating demand from 22 ISA member nations, in a potential order valued at $2.7 billion.

GGGI and the ISA will sign a partnership agreement to provide technical assistance in deploying one million solar irrigation pumps.

ISA also plans to sign a partnership agreement with the Paris-based International Institute of Refrigeration to set up solar heating and cooling demonstration projects in member countries.

The who’s who of the global solar landscape is expected to attend the virtual summit, hosted by the first treaty-based international government organization headquartered in India. The summit by the alliance, which has become a significant foreign policy tool for India, comes in the backdrop of China’s attempts to co-opt countries into its ambitious One Belt One Road initiative.

Queries emailed to spokespersons for ISA and NTPC on late Sunday night wasn’t immediately answered.

“More than 26,000 participants from 149 countries have registered to join the virtual summit which is expected to bring the spotlight on accelerating affordable and sustainable clean green energy by showcasing and deliberating on innovative state-of-the-art next generation technologies in solar power," the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) said in a statement.

The summit will showcase new technologies to boost solar deployment at an affordable cost and will also be attended by ministers of 67 ISA member nations, global chief executives and multilateral institutions.

India and France have front-ended attempts to set up ISA, which has become India’s calling card on climate change, with France terming it a “political project".

India has been trying to leverage ISA to execute the ambitious ‘One Sun One World One Grid’, that seeks to transfer solar power generated in one region to feed the electricity demands of others. According to the partnership agreement to be inked between the ISA, MNRE and the World Bank, it will be the ISA that will manage the bid process management and the global grid implementation plan. Prime Minister Narendra Modi has been championing the global electricity grid plan. As many as 84 countries have signed the ISA framework agreement, and 67 have ratified it. Germany has also expressed interest in joining ISA.

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