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India takes its place in the sun with launch of solar alliance

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India on Sunday found its rightful place in the sun as Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s brainchild, the International Solar Alliance (ISA), formally kicked off with 62 member-countries adopting the ‘Delhi Solar Agenda’ seeking to raise the share of solar power in their energy basket with a view to mitigating climate change and providing clean, affordable electricity to the underprivileged.

Modi and French President
Emmanuel Macron co-chaired the ISA founding conference in the presence of heads of state of 23 countries and ministerial representatives from 10 other nations, indicating an acceptance of India’s leadership role in the global fight against climate change.

The choice of Delhi as the venue for holding the ISA founding conference reinforces India’s pole position built on the Modi government’s plan to create 175 GW (giga watt) renewable energy capacity by 2022, the world’s single-largest renewable energy project. It is no wonder then that ISA will be headquartered in Gurgaon in Delhi’s suburbs, the first time that an international treaty body will have its secretariat in India.

The idea of forming an alliance of countries between the tropics — which enjoy an abundance of sunshine that can be harnessed for producing clean and affordable power — was mooted by Modi in 2015, months before the Paris climate summit in November as TOI first reported on September 3 that year.

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