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NEW DELHI : US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate (SPEC) John Kerry on Wednesday cautioned against the ‘serious headwinds’ ahead for solar, and said nearly 90% of greenhouse gas emissions come from outside the United States.

In his address to the fourth general assembly of International Solar Alliance (ISA) on Wednesday, Kerry said, “India is a red-hot investment my friends, a red-hot investment destination for solar power and that can be true for very single member of the ISA. Still, there are serious headwinds ahead for Solar’s rise. Already leading countries deploying solar power from India to United States are seeing the need for energy storage to balance the intermittency of renewable energy."

“Nearly 90% of greenhouse gas emissions come from outside the United States and that’s why the International Solar Alliance is so critical," Kerry added in the run up to the United Nations Climate Change Conference to be held in Glasgow.

Against the targeted emission reduction of 33-35% by 2030, India has already achieved an emission reduction of 28% over 2005 levels and at this pace is set to exceed its NDC commitments before 2030. India on its part has also urged group of 20 nations (G20) having per capita greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions above the global average to bring it down to the world average, thereby vacating ‘some' carbon space for developing nations.

“Harnessing the full value of solar energy will require countries to invest in storage, in grid infrastructure and in flexibility in both demand and supply," Kerry said.

As part of India’s green energy push, the government is working on an Energy Storage policy for large-scale integration of renewable energy into the country’ power system. Large storages can help keep India’s power grids stable. Also, there is a growing traction for hydropower projects among Indian clean energy majors with the plan being put in pay to use cheap green power during off-peak hours to raise water to a height and then release it into a lower reservoir to generate electricity.

“And to connect solar power with parts of the economy that don’t currently use electricity, countries must invest in electric vehicles and clean fuels like hydrogen that can be produced using solar power," Kerry said.

India has already crossed 100 gigawatt (GW) of installed solar and wind capacity. The plan is to have 175GW renewable energy capacity by 2022 and 450GW by 2030. This huge injection of electricity in the grid from sources such as solar and wind requires a storage mechanism that can help balance the national electricity grid.

“ISA targets US$1 trillion of investment in solar by 2030, which would be significant in bringing the world closer to energy transitions needed. These investments will also enable infrastructure such as transmission, batteries, micro and mini grids to get the solar electricity delivered when and where it is needed," ISA Director General Ajay Mathur said in a statement from ISA.

India has urged the US to join the ISA, co-founded by India and France. ISA has become a significant public policy tool for India and is considered a counter to China’s ambitious One Belt One Road initiative.

“The recent IPCC report sets out an urgent message and it makes our job very clear. We must do more to address the climate crisis," Kerry said.

The perils of climate change have been articulated by the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report which stated that extreme weather events will impact lives, livelihoods and businesses in India and South Asia, and called for immediate steps to mitigate climate change.

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