Eritrea have become the newest member of the International Solar Alliance (ISA)

Energy is the backbone of UAE’s economy: Minister

Suhail Bin Mohammed Faraj Faris Al Mazrouei, UAE Minister of Energy and Industry, led a high-level delegation from the UAE to the Second Assembly of the International Solar Alliance, ISA, in India. The UAE delegation included Dr Nawal Al Hosany, Permanent Representative of the UAE to the International Renewable Energy Agency, IRENA.

Held in New Delhi on Oct.31, the Second Assembly of the ISA drew the participation of high-profile invitees, ministers and representatives from ISA member countries, officers from international organisations, multilateral agencies, and financial institutions to discuss their specific energy needs. The event provided an ideal platform for collaboration in addressing the identified gaps through a common and agreed approach.

Speaking on the occasion, Suhail Al Mazrouei said, “Energy is the backbone of the UAE’s economy, and our country is working to diversify both – its energy sources and its economic sectors. 2017 saw the launch of the UAE Energy Strategy 2050 – the country’s first unified energy strategy that focuses not only on supply but also on optimising demand. By 2050, 50 per cent of the country’s energy will come from clean sources, including 44 per cent from renewable sources.”

He added, “Due to well-aligned government processes and the forward-thinking vision that went into formulating the UAE Energy Strategy, the country has managed to implement sustainable energy projects and reduce the cost for solar power significantly – from 5.84 US cents in 2015 to the new world record of 1.7 cents submitted for Phase 5 of the Mohammed Bin Rashid Al Maktoum Solar Park – that amounts to a nearly 80 per cent cost reduction.”

Highlighting the important role of ISA, Dr Nawal Al Hosany added, “The Alliance has an exceptional track record of facilitating large-scale funding and developing programmes to promote access to affordable finance. We are here today to take the achievements of our solar industry to a whole new level through advancing the technology, incorporating region-specific social aspects, and driving innovative business initiatives.

She added, “From leading multiple billion dollar renewable energy ventures to hosting the IRENA headquarters, the UAE is committed to finding new renewable energy solutions to age-old challenges through partnerships, knowledge exchange, capacity building, and access to finance.”

The UAE is a founding member of the ISA that was established by the Paris Declaration at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris (COP 21) in 2015, where it was announced by Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi and French President Francois Hollande. The UAE joined the Alliance in late October 2017 and was officially approved as a member in February 2018.

The Alliance currently includes more than 121 prospective member countries, located either fully or partially between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. It aims to help developing countries harness 1,000 GW of solar power by 2030 through raising $1 trillion and providing the necessary technical assistance to support the goal.

Eritrea and Saint Kitts and Nevis have become the newest members of the International Solar Alliance (ISA). The two nations signed the ISA Framework Agreement during its second assembly held in New Delhi on Oct.31, 2019.

With this, the total membership of the International Solar Alliance has risen to 83. While speaking at the Assembly, ISA President R K Singh emphasized on the increasing importance of solar energy, especially in the view of the several climate change issues being faced across the world.

The ISA President who is also the Union Minister of New and Renewable Energy further highlighted the steps taken by India to support the International Solar Alliance.

The assembly saw the participation of delegations from 78 countries, including 29 ministerial delegations, of which 25 were from ISA member countries, two from signatory countries and two from prospective member nations.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi had pledged at the UN Climate Action Summit 2019 to increase the renewable energy capacity of India to 175 gigawatts (GW) by 2022 and further increase it 450 GW.

According to the renewable energy ministry, India is moving towards achieving the 175 GW goal by 2022, as it has over 82 GW renewable capacity on the ground and around 70 GW at various stages of completion.

The International Solar Alliance was jointly launched by India and France. It was officially launched by PM Narendra Modi at the India Africa Summit, ahead of the 2015 UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in November 2015.