04 December 2015, Sweetcrude, Abuja – The Federal government and several other countries have unveiled an ambitious solar alliance that plans $100 billion investments in widespread solar projects and infrastructure that are needed by 2030.
The partnership with over 120 countries between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn in the International Solar Alliance (ISA), including some African and Asian nations, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, France, China and the United States, is to advance a low-carbon economy powered substantially by clean energy.
The widely anticipated initiative, was conceived by the Indian Prime Minister, Narendra Modi, and jointly launched by President François Hollande and Modi in the presence of the UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-Moon at the on-going international climate summit in Paris.
Under the initiative, the Indian government is investing an initial $30million in setting up the alliance’s headquarters in India. The eventual goal is to raise $400million from membership fees, and international agencies. Companies involved in the project include Areva, Engie, Enel, HSBC France and Tata Steel.
In their declaration, the countries said, “the objective to significantly augment solar power generation in our countries, we intend making joint efforts through innovative policies, projects, programmes, capacity building measures and financial instruments to mobilize more than $100 billion of investments that are needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy.
“We intend to work together towards the development of appropriate benchmarks, facilitating resource assessments, supporting research and development and demonstration facilities, with a view to encouraging innovative and affordable applications of solar technologies.
“We share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts with a view to reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation assets in all our countries and to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and good technologies adapted to our countries’ individual needs.”
Hollande described the project as climate justice in action, mobilising public finance from richer states to help deliver universal energy access. “What we are putting in place is an avant garde of countries that believe in renewable energies,” he told a press conference in Paris.
He said, “What we are showing here is an illustration of the future Paris accord, as this initiative gives meaning to sharing technology and mobilising financial resources in an example of what we wish to do in the course of the climate conference.”
The UN secretary general, placed the initiative in the context of the body’s sustainable development goals, particularly a related target, set in 2011, of achieving universal access to sustainable energy by 2030.
Nigerian Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed told The Guardian that exploiting renewable energy requires partnership. “The scale we want to go in terms of renewable is not what Nigeria can go by itself. We want an alliance with people who have technology under the South South Cooperation, and financing flow from our partners in G7.
“It is the first time we having a number of countries that have a direct effect from the climate change discussing on the removal of fossil fuel, so that we have less emission. Nigeria is a signatory to the ISA, the launch signifies the intention of the alliance, we want to see how Nigeria can plug into that. This is a long-term investment, we need to build on the successes we had in the past, and put more solid foundations so that when we leave, we can build on them.”