Deliberating operationalisation of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi's "One Sun One World One Grid" initiative, U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry will deliver the keynote address fourth general assembly of The International Solar Alliance (ISA) on October 20. The keynote will be held virtually in view of the COVID-19 pandemic between October 18 and October 20.

The ISA annual assembly will be presided over by R.K. Singh, Minister for Power, New and Renewable Energy, Government of India and the President of the ISA Assembly. Besides Kerry, the European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans, will also address the gathering on Wednesday.

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What's on agenda?

The fourth assembly of the ISA will deliberate on the key initiatives around the operationalization of the OSOWOG initiative, the $1 trillion Solar Investment Roadmap for 2030, and approval of a Blended Financial Risk Mitigation Facility. A detailed report on OSOWOG is expected to be discussed at the Assembly.

The world leaders of ISA member countries will also discuss the strategic plan of the ISA for the next five years encompassing a Country Partnership Framework, Strategy for Private Sector Engagement, and initiatives such as Viability Gap Financing scheme to facilitate affordable finance for solar energy projects across ISA's membership. The International Solar Alliance is an international organization with 98 member countries.

The ISA will also discuss the partnership with Global Energy Alliance (GEA) to scale up technical and financial support to LDCs and SIDS.

Airport commissions second solar power plant.

The upcoming assembly will have series of technical sessions on various strategic initiatives of the ISA on the first day, which will be followed by sessions on various emergent issues in the solar and clean energy sector in partnership with partner and other organizations on the following dates.

"Having laid the groundwork with multilateral support and multi-stakeholder partnerships, the ISA is now stepping into its next phase of its mission, driven primarily by the implementation of its framework for global solarisation, scaling and expanding the impact of its interventions across nations, and growing and actualising its existing pipeline for solar projects. We are working towards mobilising USD 1 trillion of investment for a massive deployment of solar energy technologies and for expanding solar markets. This would help achieve three different but interlinked objectives: promoting a clean energy transition; enabling energy access and energy security; and delivering a new economic driver for all countries," Dr. Ajay Mathur, Director General, the ISA said in a statement.

Single global solar grid — OSOWOG

The concept of a single global grid for solar was first outlined at the First Assembly of the ISA in late 2018 by PM Modi, who even mentioned it at his Independence Day speech. It envisions building and scaling inter-regional energy grids to share solar energy across the globe, leveraging the differences of time zones, seasons, resources, and prices between countries and regions. OSOWOG will also help decarbonise energy production, which is today the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions. With OSOWOG, India is planning to take a leadership position.

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With India's Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the World Bank and the ISA signing a tripartite agreement on OSOWOG, the initiative could be the world's most important renewables catalyst. It can unlock unprecedented economies of scale in energy generation and transmission. Rigorous assessments and modelling have confirmed the initiative's technical and economic viability, building a strong business case. Its commercial feasibility has been further augmented by multilateral development banks such as World Bank, which are helping create markets by driving down costs of solar power.