The International Solar Alliance brings together a group of nations to endorse clean energy, sustainable environment, public transport and climate. This is according to the organizations stated purpose.
The alliance is the brainchild of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi which he proposed in a speech in November 2015. 121 countries have joined since the framework agreement was opened for signatures in November 2016. Uganda is one of the 121 member countries, having ratified the framework on 21 March 2018.
Focus of the alliance is on collectively addressing key common challenges to the scaling up of solar energy in line with the needs of the different countries. Membership to the alliance is made up of solar resource rich countries lying between the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. There is a great amount of sunlight in these regions, almost 300 sunny days in a year.
Among others, membership to the alliance will potentially accord the following benefits:
- Access to finance for solar energy; in June 2016, the alliance entered into an understanding with the World Bank. In the agreement, the bank will facilitate the mobilization of the US$1,000 Billion that is needed by the alliance to achieve its 2030 investment goals.
- Organizations and businesses that are involved in the solar industry in the member states will have increased opportunities for projects and demand for their services and products as interest and investment in solar rises.
- Access to better information, research and quality of solar equipment due to collaborations between member states.
Uganda is a participant in two of the ISA’s critical programmes: the program for ‘scaling solar applications for agricultural use’ and Affordable finance at scale.
The ISA holds monthly meetings and Uganda’s interests are represented through the Minister Counselor at the Uganda Embassy to New Delhi.
Knowledge of the workings of the alliance will enable individuals and businesses in the solar space in Uganda to take advantage of the opportunities available through the alliance.