Q.1 What is International Solar Alliance?
Ans. International Solar Alliance (ISA) is a coalition of solar resource rich countries lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn to specifically address energy needs by tapping solar energy from the sun. This alliance will provide a platform for prospective member countries to collaborate and address the identified gaps through a common agreed approach. ISA has been envisioned as a dedicated platform which will contribute towards the common goal of increasing utilization and promotion of solar energy and solar applications in its prospective member countries to help the world transition to a low-carbon and greener society.
Q.2 When was ISA launched?
Ans. ISA was launched at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris on 30 November, 2015 by Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi and Hon’ble French President Mr. Francois Hollande, in the presence of Mr. Ban Ki Moon, Secretary General of the United Nations.
Q.3 What is Paris Declaration on ISA?
Ans. A Declaration was unveiled on the occasion to launch the International Solar Alliance of countries dedicated to the promotion of solar energy in Paris on 30 November, 2015. The Paris Declaration on ISA states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation and formulate financial instruments to effectively mobilize more than US$1000 billion dollars in investments that will be required by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy and to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and good technologies for each prospective member countries’ individual needs.
Q.4 What is the Interim Secretariat of ISA?
Ans. The Interim Administrative Cell of ISA was constituted to carry out functions of the Interim Secretariat of ISA and the chairperson of the ISA Cell has been re-designated as the Interim Director General, who will carry out day to day functions of the Interim Secretariat of ISA. Presently, the Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy is the Ex Officio Interim Director General of ISA.
Q.5 Where is Interim Secretariat of ISA located?
Q.6 When was the Interim Secretariat of ISA inaugurated?
Ans. The Hon’ble Prime Minister of India Shri Narendra Modi, and the Hon’ble President of France Mr. François Hollande, jointly laid the foundation stone of the ISA Headquarters and inaugurated the Interim Secretariat of the ISA on 25 January, 2016.
Q.7 Which are the prospective member countries of ISA?
Ans. ISA, as envisaged, includes 121 countries lying fully or partially between Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn that support the Paris Declaration.
Q.8 What is the mission and vision of ISA?
Ans. ISA’s Mission and Vision is to provide a dedicated platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries where the global community including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and stakeholders can make a positive contribution to assist and help achieve the common goals of increasing use of the solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
Q.9 What important initiatives has the ISA undertaken so far?
  1. As an action oriented organization, two programmes of ISA “Affordable finance at scale” and “Scaling solar applications for agricultural use”, have been launched in a Ministerial Side event on ISA on 22 April 2016 on the margins of signing of Paris Agreement on Climate Change in UN Headquarters in New York, USA.
  2. The ISA and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) issued a Joint Declaration for cooperation to promote ISA objectives in prospective ISA member countries on 22 April 2016.
  3. The ISA and the World Bank issued a Joint Declaration for the promotion of solar energy globally on 30 June 2016.
Q.10 What are the likely benefits of ISA membership?

ISA will be a collective voice in international fora and benefit prospective individual member countries in many ways, including the following:

  1. Group Identity: ISA will provide a group identity that will be dynamic, situation-responsive and will protect against monopolistic international groups and behaviors.
  2. Long term and low cost finance: ISA will facilitate the prospective member countries in developing innovative financial packages to bring down the cost of capital lower than local interest rates to loans in prospective member countries. ISA will facilitate conducive conditions for credit flow on concessional terms in prospective member countries. This will create demand and create a buyers’ market for solar applications. ISA will explore possibilities of arranging long term and low cost finance from multilateral and bilateral agencies as well as from other financial institutions for the prospective member country.
  3. ODA for solar energy development and deployment: ISA will work with countries who provide overseas development assistance (ODA) to explore possibilities for assisting identified solar programmes by these countries under ODA.
  4. Identifying technological solutions: ISA will facilitate the prospective member country in selecting procurement and aggregating technologies so that cost of procurement and terms and conditions of procurement are friendly.
  5. Capacity Building: ISA will facilitate in building of local technicians, entrepreneurs etc. and trainings will be planned to promote local entrepreneurship and local assembly of solar home lighting systems and fans.
  6. Productive solar applications in agriculture for increasing farmers income: ISA will facilitate information – exchange among policy makers in data-mining and analytics to find out the best financial and social lessons and how solar can double income of farmers and other low income groups in five years through solar applications in agriculture and ancillary sector.
  7. Universal solar lighting: ISA will partner with the prospective member countries and the UN agencies present in those prospective member countries to synergize activities in promoting universal energy access.
  8. Access to public domain solar technologies: In order to reduce the cost of technology, ISA will establish linkage with the technology owners to place solar technologies accessible to wide set of users as possible. Further, ISA will explore possibilities to finance the royalties for licenses for patents on solar technologies and make them available to the disadvantaged prospective ISA member countries.
  9. ISA Solar awards: ISA will administer global awards for solar R&D, applications and innovative financing. Membership enables the prospective member country to nominate suitable candidates in appropriate areas.
  10. Knowledge access to 24x7 networking center: Prospective ISA member countries will have access to the 24x7 solar networking center which will connect all prospective member countries in an interactive mode. The center will have a solar library of 1000 best practices from various countries.
Q.11 How to designate National Focal Points of ISA?
Ans. The first International Steering Committee meeting of ISA was held on 1 December 2015. During the meeting, it was decided that the prospective ISA member countries will designate a nodal officer for ISA and related activities. The National Focal Point is the key point person in the Capitals of prospective ISA countries to receive and provide information about ISA events, programmes and activities.
ISA Interim Secretariat is in the process of collecting contact details of all the prospective ISA member countries’ Focal Points. The following details of focal point(s) are requested from prospective member countries of ISA:
i) Name of the Focal Point
ii) Email of the Focal Point
iii) Cell number of the Focal Point for creating Whatsapp group
iv) Photograph of Focal Point for putting it on the website
The above details of Focal Points may be forwarded to Dr. P C Maithani at pcmaithani@nic.in and Mr. Guy-Cédric Werlings at guy-cedric.werlings@diplomatie.gouv.fr
Q.12 How to designate Contact Points for ISA?
Ans. Prospective ISA countries have been requested to designate a Contact Point in their resident diplomatic missions in New Delhi, India. The Contact point serves as key person to receive and provide information about ISA activities and represent the prospective country in regular meetings of ISA and help in arranging inputs and sending information about ISA activities to the Capital.
Q.13 How can an ISA country launch a programme under ISA?
Ans. ISA member countries can make proposals for programmes, provided that the proposal is submitted jointly with at least one other member country. Participation will be on a voluntary basis and in an open and continuous manner. The Secretariat can also launch a programmes with the approval of assembly. Common guidelines for making a Programme proposal under ISA
Q.14 What is India’s contribution to ISA?
Ans. India has offered to meet ISA Secretariat expenses for initial five years, and has also made a contribution of Rs.175 Crore for creating ISA Corpus fund. In addition, Government of India (GOI) has offered training support for prospective ISA member countries at the National Institute of Solar Energy and also support to prospective ISA member countries for demonstration projects for solar home lighting, solar pumps for farmers and for other solar applications. The GOI has dedicated 5 acres of land in the National Institute of Solar Energy campus for the construction ISA Headquarters.
Q.15 What is the linkage between INDC and solar energy?
Ans. Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) outlines climate actions which countries intend to take in the post 2020 period under the new international climate change agreement. In the run up to the climate change negotiations in Paris in December, 2015 for the new climate agreement, many countries communicated their INDCs to the UNFCCC Secretariat. All Parties included information on their mitigation contributions, in which solar energy is a significant part.
Q.16 Where do one find regular updates on progress of ISA?
Ans. The ISA quarterly journal reports on the progress made by ISA in each quarter and demonstrate its mission and add value. The journal would fill the need for improved information and regular communication from and about the ISA. The ISA Journal will be distributed largely electronically plus around 200 printed copies.The first journal was launched on October, 8 2016 in the presence of Shri. Upendra Tripathy, Ex Officio Interim Director General, ISA & Secretary, MNRE, Govt. of India and H.E. Ms Brigitte Collet, Ambassador for Renewable Energy, Special Representative of the French Government for the International Solar Alliance in a ISA Track event of The World Sustainable Development Summit (WSDS) 2016, themed, 'Beyond 2015: People, Planet & Progress'.
Q.17 What is the process of engaging Interns in the Interim Secretariat of ISA
Ans. ISA is accepting applications for internship through the United Nations Development Programme. The duration of the internships will be between three and six months. Selected interns will work on various programmes being implemented by ISA such as solar applications for agriculture use, financial instruments for energy access etc.
All internships shall be as per UN norms. Applicants from prospective ISA member countries are encouraged to apply. The International Solar Alliance’s Interim Secretariat looks forward to welcoming successful applicants to the team.