The International Solar Alliance (ISA) is working on “innovative initiatives” such as offering payment security to developers as well as offering low premium insurance options to scale up manufacturing capacity of solar photovoltaic (PV) modules and cells, power and new & renewable energy Minister, R K Singh said on Thursday.

As per the International Energy Agency (IEA), the name plate PV production capacity is likely to hit around 400 gigawatts (GW) by 2022-end, based on the manufacturing projects currently under construction. At present, China accounts for a lion’s share of the global capacity.

Upcoming initiatives

In his address at the curtain raiser event for the upcoming ISA meet, Singh noted “ISA is coming up with three very innovative initiatives which are absolutely essential for capacity addition. One is a payment security mechanism so that any developer who sets up capacity in any of the countries that need it will be guaranteed payment security. So that developer has the confidence that his investment will not go bad.”

The Minister also informed that another initiative is on creating a fund for bringing down the cost of insurance so that projects can be ensured at a lesser premium, which will help make solar power projects viable.

“These two things are absolutely crucial for multiplying projects and power generation. It will be very beneficial in African countries. The third is investment. I will be requesting all the participating countries to contribute to these. Our objective is to catalyse and spur investments in countries which need it and where energy access is a challenge,” Singh said.

The fifth meeting of ISA’s highest decision making body, the Assembly, is scheduled to be held in the national capital during October 17-20 in which delegates from 109 member and signatory countries are expected to participate. The deliberations will focus on critical issues of energy access, security and transition.

Diversification of supply chains

On diversifying solar manufacturing supply chains, the Minister said that India is already working in this direction. India has a manufacturing capacity of about 20 GW of solar PV capacity installed. Besides, another 15-20 GW is under construction, and after the second phase of PLI comes into effect, the country will add another 40 GW of capacity right across the entire supply chain from polysilicon to wafers to cells and modules.

“Similarly, we believe this is our message for the world that we have to ensure diversification of supply chains of green hydrogen and ammonia. I believe most countries have now got the message. By 2025-26, I expect India’s manufacturing capacity to reach 90 GW, with which we can also help meet capacities of other countries,” he added.

Emphasising that solar and mini power grids are the answer to the universal access of energy in the world, Singh said that ISA is extremely essential to energy transition.