loader image

Green energy : ISA finances solar projects

Home > Blog > Energy > Green energy : ISA finances solar projects

Green energy : ISA finances solar projects

The India-led International Solar Alliance is investing 35 million USD in renewable energy projects in the sunniest regions of the world.

Overview of the International Solar Alliance

The International Solar Alliance (ISA), jointly led by India and France, promotes the global use of solar energy. Established after the 2015 climate negotiations in Paris, not only ISA counts over 30 African nations, but also in the United States, Germany and the United Kingdom. Nevertheless, despite the fact that China is a leader in the solar market, this latter has not yet joined ISA.

Financing Africa’s solar revolution

The ISA focuses on the electrification of 733 million people through renewable energies, including solar. Under the leadership of India’s Energy Minister, Shri Singh, the alliance’s main focus is Africa. This group of nations is already running successful demonstration projects in 8 countries, focusing on solarization of health centers, solar irrigation and school buildings. These initiatives aim to illustrate the potential of solar technology to improve the lives of citizens in member countries.

ISA Director General Dr. Ajay Mathur stresses the importance of collaboration between governments, the private sector and international organizations to fully exploit solar energy. To achieve this goal, the alliance is deploying various initiatives and funding to strengthen capacity, innovation and investment in the solar sector, such as :

  • The STAR-C program
  • The SolarX Startup Challenge
  • Global Finance Facility

5th ISA African regional meeting

The 5th ISA African Regional Meeting took place in Kigali, Rwanda, on August 31, 2023, with the support of the local government. The event brought together 36 country representatives and 15 ministers. During the meeting, nine solar energy demonstration projects were virtually inaugurated, covering Uganda, Comoros and Mali.

This initiative reinforces the global commitment to renewable energies.

Inauguration of 9 landmark solar projects

Continuing our commitment, here are the winning projects in Africa, emblematic initiatives that illustrate the scope of ISA’s efforts to promote solar energy in Africa. Concrete demonstrations of international cooperation and progress, these projects are supported by alliance grants.

ISA Annual Meeting

The ISA annual meeting was held simultaneously with the G20 forum in New Delhi, India, from September 9 to 10, 2023. The annual gathering brought together representatives from 116 nations to discuss strategies for harnessing the energy transition. These initiatives are helping to reduce dependence on fossil fuels, the main contributor to global warming.

During the event, the ISA is committed to overcoming the challenges of affordable financing and technical expertise in its member countries. Dr Mathur announced that the Indian government plans to invest USD 25 million. In parallel, the International Solar Alliance plans to contribute USD 10 million for small-scale solar energy infrastructure. The French Minister Delegate for Development reiterated France’s strong support for all the ISA group’s commitments, particularly in financial terms.

Solar energy roadmap for universal energy access

ISA highlights the vital role of solar energy in universal energy access and the transition to energy sustainability. A recent paper, « Solar Energy Roadmap for Universal Energy Access », co-authored with India’s Ministry of Energy, sheds exciting light on future strategies.

The report advocates the use of solar energy solutions to effectively address global energy access challenges, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa. The document also recommends and encourages the deployment of solar mini-grids and decentralized renewable energy solutions. These innovative initiatives aim to overcome energy access barriers in a variety of contexts.

SolarX Startup Challenge winners

At the heart of discussions on the role of solar energy in solving Africa’s energy challenges, ISA celebrated the winners of its SolarX Startup Challenge. This innovative program aims to stimulate entrepreneurship and clean energy, focusing specifically on ISA’s African member countries. The honorable distinction was awarded to 20 companies from 10 African nations, marking the dynamic conclusion of the Alliance’s annual meeting. The event highlighted the significant potential of mini-grids in the universalization of energy access. The ISA highlighted the crucial importance of locally-developed solutions to meet the specific needs of each community.

Solar electrification challenges in Africa

An ISA report in 2022 reveals that global investment in solar energy exceeded 300 billion USD in the same year. However, only 15 % was allocated to developing countries. Between 2015 and 2021, investment in clean energy fell by 44 % in sub-Saharan Africa. With a view to reversing this trend, the ISA is contributing to the development of one gigawatt of solar energy over the past 6 years.

The alliance reaffirms this obligation by committing to install 9.5 gigawatts of solar energy in 55 countries in the South. This project will make it possible to power up to 6 million homes in developing countries.

ISA Vice President for the African region, Jama Taqal Abbas, underlines Africa’s potential to become a world leader in renewable energy production and innovation. Vice-President Abbas emphasizes the need for innovative financing mechanisms to make solar energy investments more attractive and accessible on the continent.

Global Solar Facility

In its quest to expand global renewable energy capacity, the ISA reviewed its Global Solar Facility at the group’s annual meeting. The facility aims to catalyze innovative solar technologies in Africa through private investment. The facility aims to mobilize 100 million USD to support the deployment of solar projects worldwide.

Due to a lack of investment to date, Africa has not been able to fully exploit its solar potential. However, the horizon is brightening with the imminent influx of investment to the continent. This initiative, approved by the ISA Assembly, proposes a payment and insurance mechanism, incorporating payment guarantees, partial insurance premiums and investment opportunities across Africa.

Share this article
Share this Article:
Join our newsletter

Join the latest releases and tips, interesting articles, and exclusive interviews in your inbox every week.