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New Delhi : Prime Minister Narendra Modi, in a message at the inaugural session of First World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) read out by  R K Singh, the President, International Solar Alliance (ISA) Assembly and Minister of State (I/C) for Power and New & Renewable Energy, on September 8, 2020, that technology holds the key to scale up the use of solar energy.

Technological achievements have already brought about a significant reduction in the price of solar power. A further reduction in the cost will provide a major boost to the use and expansion of renewable energy, the PM said. He expressed confidence that the summit will help in developing new technologies and ensure that they become available to all.

World Solar Technology Summit (WSTS) organised by ISA and FICCI on September 8, 2020, aims to bring together key stakeholders – leading academic scientists, technology developers, researchers and innovators to present and discuss the recent highlights of solar technologies, cost-wise; technology-wise, technology transfers, challenges and concerns in the field. The main objective of WSTS is to showcase to member countries the state of the art and next-generation solar technologies worldwide and to give an opportunity to decision-makers and stakeholders to meet, and discuss their own priorities and strategic agenda towards a larger integration, according to a PIB release.

The Prime Minister re-iterated that five years ago, world leaders had taken a pledge to restrict the rise in global temperature through a gradual reduction in the dependence on fossil fuels. Underlining India’s commitment to lowering carbon footprints, he stressed that India has lowest per-capita carbon emissions in the world but we have still pressed ahead with deployment of renewable energy at a frenetic pace.”

Speaking on fast growth of Renewables in India, the PM further informed that India has enhanced its installed renewable capacity by 2.5 times and increased our solar installed capacity by more than 13 times. “Globally India now ranks 4th in terms of Renewable power,” PM Modi said.

The PM also informed that we have scaled our non-fossil fuel-based power generations to 134GW, which is about 35 % of our total power generation. We are confident of increasing it to 220 GW by 2022. “We want to take renewable energy to every village of our country. Our government has implemented a scheme named KUSUM that aims to replace the use of diesel in our farm sector with solar energy. Under this scheme, we have targeted the solarisation of 2.8 million irrigation pumps. Such schemes will not only benefit the environment, but also increase the income of our farmers.” he said.

Referring to India’s support to ISA member countries, the Prime Minister said, ”India is providing capacity building support to ISA member countries through its ITEC training programme. We have also set up a Project Preparation Facility to develop bankable Solar Energy projects in ISA member countries with the help of EXIM Bank of India.”

The Prime Minister also said, “The ISA is a part of “One Word One Sun One Grid” project, I firmly believe that this project can bring transformational benefits for the entire humanity.”

Nobel Laureate, Dr M Stanley Whittingham, winner of the Nobel Prize in Chemistry (jointly with John B Goodenough & Akira Yoshino) in 2019 for the revolutionising discovery of the lithium ion batteries and Bernard Piccard, Founder and Chairman of Solar Impulse Foundation, Switzerland, also joined the summit virtually, according to a PIB release.

India’s Minister for Petroleum and Natural Gas, Mr Dharmendra Pradhan also addressed the inaugural. Pradhan announced that five Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs) under Petroleum & Natural Gas Ministry will be joining International Solar Alliance (ISA)’s Coalition for Sustainable Climate Action (ISA-CSCA) as Corporate Partners. He said that Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC), Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL), Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (BPCL), Hindustan Petroleum Corporation Limited (HPCL) and GAIL (India) Limited will be contributing to ISA’s Corpus Fund.

The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a treaty-based international intergovernmental organisation. ISA was jointly launched by India and France in the presence of Secretary General of the UN during CoP21. The Paris Declaration establishes ISA as an alliance dedicated to the promotion of solar energy among its Member Countries.