Paris: Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday said that given the excesses of the industrial age, the world must turn to the sun to power its future, and India has already set a target of generating 100 gigawatts (GW) of solar energy by 2022.
“Today, when the energy sources and excesses of our industrial age have put our planet in peril, the world must turn to Sun to power our future,” Modi said while jointly launching an International Solar Alliance with French President Francois Hollande at the Conference of Parties (CoP) climate summit that got underway here.
This alliance of 122 countries lying between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn has been formed to collectively harness the power of the sun.
“The vast majority of humanity is blessed with generous sunlight round the year. Yet, many are also without any source of power,” Modi said, adding that was why this alliance was so important.
“We want to bring solar energy into our lives and homes, by making it cheaper, more reliable and easier to connect to grid,” he said.
He said that in the Indian tradition, the sun was the source of all forms of energy.
“As Rig Veda says, sun god is the soul of all beings, moving and non-moving. Many in India begin their day with a prayer to the sun,” the prime minister said.
According to him, as the developing world lifted billions of people into prosperity, “our hope for a sustainable planet rests on a bold global initiative”.
“It will mean advanced countries leaving enough carbon space for developing countries to grow. That is natural climate justice,” he said.
“It also means a growth path with lighter carbon footprint.”
Modi said convergence between economy, ecology and energy should define the world’s future.
He said investments would be attracted in the solar sector, joint ventures encouraged and innovative financing mechanisms developed.
“There is already a revolution in solar energy. Technology is evolving, costs are coming down and grid connectivity is improving,” the prime minister said.
“India has a capacity of 4GW and we have set a target of adding 100 GW of solar power by 2022. By the end of next year, we would have added another 12 GW.”
Modi this new alliance brought together “developed and developing countries, governments and industries, laboratories and institutions, in a common enterprise”.
“India will be pleased to host this initiative at the premises of our National Institute of Solar Energy. We will provide land and contribute approximately $30 million to build the Secretariat infrastructure,” he said.