The previous doom-laden post on this site reminded one reader of the title of a novel, ‘The Sun Is My Undoing’. The news in this post relates to the harnessing of India’s solar resources for a clean energy future.
Speaking to NDTV in New York, India’s Power, Coal and Renewable Energy Minister Piyush Goyal referred to a World Trade Organization dispute settlement board which has ruled in favour of a US claim that India’s requirement that only Indian-made products be used for solar cells and modules were “inconsistent” with a range of international trade regulations. India has filed an appeal against the WTO decision.
In a videoed interview, which may be seen via the following link, the minister noted that no such action has been taken against the 16 states in the US with similar Domestic Content Requirements for their solar panels manufacturing, commenting “(It is) very unfortunate that they took this route rather than promoting renewable energy in developing countries”.
A far more cheering scenario
Piyush Goyal also announced a new policy which will encourage further domestic manufacturing in India and reiterated full commitment to India becoming a leading solar equipment manufacturer in the near future and reiterated that the WTO ruling will not deter India’s support to domestic manufacturers.
He and the French Environment Minister Segolene Royal (left) played a leading part in launching an International Solar Alliance after the signing ceremonies for the Paris Climate Change Agreement. The website of the Permanent Mission of India to the UN reports that India and France have launched programmes with $1 trillion potential to help developing countries harness fully their solar resources for a clean energy future to meet “probably the world’s largest challenge humanity has ever faced”. Ms Royal said: “I would like to emphasise the cooperation we have had with India, which is exceptional”.
The first two programmes, “Affordable finance at scale”; and “Scaling solar applications for agricultural use”, were launched at a meeting attended by representatives of over 25 countries including Bangladesh, Brazil, Ethiopia, Namibia, Uganda, Nigeria, Peru, Djibouti, Surinam, Zambia, Bolivia, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Mali, India, USA and France. Many have at least 300 days of sunshine, and share common challenges and opportunities.
The Times of India adds that Goyal said the harnessing of solar energy went beyond providing clean energy and dealing with climate change and was also about energy security. He explained the benefits of solar-rich nations collaborating through the ISA, providing benefits of scale leading to reduction in prices; promotion of collaborative R&D and wider deployment of solar technologies.