What is One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) Declaration?

The One Sun One World One Grid Declaration (OSOWOG) was jointly released by Prime Minister Narendra Modi and UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson at the COP26 Climate Meet in Glasgow.

Realising the vision of OSOWOG through interconnected green grids can be transformational, enabling all nations to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement to prevent dangerous climate change, the declaration said. These efforts can stimulate green investments and create millions of good jobs. By sharing the sun's energy, one can help to build a more peaceful and prosperous world, the declaration added.

What is its objective?

While the sun is the source of all energy and solar energy is totally clean and sustainable, it is available only during the day time and is dependent on the weather. OSOWOG is the solution to this challenge. Its objective is to aid in developing a worldwide grid through which clean energy can be transmitted anywhere, anytime (use power at night in one part of the world from solar energy generated on other side of the world where it is day time). It also aims to help in reducing storage needs and enhancing the viability of solar projects. Its ultimate goal is to reduce carbon footprints and energy costs.

Who are behind it?

In first assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA), in October 2018, Prime Minister Narendra Modi floated the idea of the OSOWOG initiative. The UK and India decided to merge the UK’s Green Grids Initiative (GGI) and ISA’s OSOWOG into GGI-OSOWOG as part of the UK-India Virtual Summit earlier this year. The ISA is an inter-governmental organisation formed by India and France, comprising 101 members, to accelerate the global adoption of solar power. As many as 83 ISA member countries have endorsed the One Sun initiative. The ISA and the World Bank are also helping in executing the project.

How will it be implemented?

OSOWOG is divided into three main phases.

In the first phase, the Indian grid would be connected to the grids of Middle East, South Asia and South-East Asia to develop a common grid. This grid would then be used to share solar energy as per need, in addition to other renewable energy sources.

The second phase would connect the functional first phase to the pool of renewable resources in Africa. The third phase would look at achieving true global interconnection. The idea will be to integrate as many countries as possible to create a single power grid of renewable energy. This can then be accessed by all countries.

How will it help the world become more sustainable ?

All participants in the initiative will focus on attracting effective investments in renewable energy sources by utilising technology, finance and skill. When all stakeholders coordinate, it is expected to bring down project cost, lead to higher efficiencies and increased asset utilisation for all involved.

The initiative may have a spill over effect, as the cost effective source of energy production could be used in other areas such as poverty alleviation, provision of drinking water, sanitation facilities and food security. Global collaboration will bring in increased investment into research and development.

What are the challenges expected in its implementation ?

One of the big challenges for implementation will be maintaining a stable grid over a large geographical area. Electricity Grid is vulnerable to accidents, weather, and cyber-attacks that are prone to increase and disrupt the electricity supply on mass scale. The mechanism of cost-sharing will also be challenging as participating countries are both rich and poor nations.