International Solar Alliance launched by Modi and Hollande

The alliance includes around 120 countries that support the “Declaration on the occasion to launch the international solar alliance of countries dedicated to the promotion of solar energy”.

.James Watson, CEO of Solar Power Europe, who attended the launch, said; 

“We commend Prime Minister Modi and India as a whole for spearheading this collaborative initiative which recognises solar as a key solution to fight climate change whilst providing clean and affordable energy to millions of people. We wish the International Solar Alliance a fruitful two weeks in Paris and look forward to future cooperation.”

Modi said that he was encouraged by the industry support shown so far for solar energy. Recently, British solar company Lightsource Renewable Energy Ltd agreed a £2billion investment plan in India to build over 3GW of solar electricity infrastructure through a partnership with Srei Infrastructure Finance Ltd. British Solar Renewables Ltd, another UK solar company, has already expanded its business into India, which is aiming to install 100GW of solar power in the next five to seven years.

However, only a handful of the largest British solar companies are in a position to take advantage of the massive international opportunities in solar, which the Solar Trade Association (STA) claim will be boosted by the launch of the International Solar Alliance. Barclays analysts predict a $30trillion boom in new technology and renewables investment to 2040, with the dropping cost of renewable (in particular solar power) ‘changing everything’. 

The solar PV sector expects that critical decisions on the fate of the solar Feed-in Tariff in the UK could come within days of the end of the Paris conference. Most British solar companies require only a few more years of stable support to reach competitiveness, says STA but are now faced with uncertainty. The UK Government has proposed spending just £7million to support the British solar industry over the next three years, despite international momentum growing strongly behind the technology. 

UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, who attended the launch, said that the climate change agreement that will be concluded in Paris at COP21 must send a clear enough signal to investors to encourage the scaling up of solar and other renewable forms of energy and urged all the governments meeting in Paris to work in a spirit of cooperation and compromise to conclude an effective agreement.

Leonie Greene, Head of External Affairs at the Solar Trade Association, said:

“The UK will pay a very heavy price in lost economic opportunities if we marginalise ourselves from the extraordinary global rise of solar power. Solar markets are expected to accelerate after the Paris climate conference as strengthened international commitments give clearer signals to investors.”

She continued, “David Cameron has expressed support for Modi’s new solar alliance, but that could ring hollow if his government effectively abandons the technology here in the UK. We hope he will see how prominent solar power is as a solution to climate change at the Paris conference and act quickly to secure British solar power on his return.”

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