Summary of remarks made by Pranav Mehta, Chairman of the Global Solar Council (GSC), at the ISA Sun World, Lima, Peru (12-14 November 2019)

The widespread deployment of solar energy will be critical in the sector’s development. Just like other new technologies – the mobile phone, internet or television - any big idea, any big change succeeds only when penetration reached the masses. Similarly, the spread of solar energy is asimportant as growth: solar should move from class to mass.

  • The essential preconditions for mass deployment are cost reduction, ease of operation and financial
  • Therefore, the idea of demand aggregation is important and we must congratulate ISA for raising the topic in this meeting.

We have to encourage governments to adopt policies that are conducive to solar growth

  • I am from the industry side and in the Global Solar Council (GSC) we discuss where the investment should be made and often say investments should go to so and so countries which have very good solar
  • In this connection, any government spending, however small and in whatever form (e.g. subsidy, tax breaks, support in government and public sector building and operational areas) will have a multiplier effect. Many times we have seen this multiplier effect, when 1 dollar invested has a multiplier effect reaching 10s of dollars.
  • Making technology and innovations available to the people is critical. Just as for battery technology and producing green hydrogen from solar energy, in the same way finding other uses for solar energy will trigger large investments. There are other uses of solar pumps such as water storage in a large tank or reservoir in a village or a cluster to provide water at a price. Demand aggregation for solar agricultural pumps by ISA is a step in the right direction: this kind of initiative will be a gamechanger attracting large investments This may be followed by demand aggregation for storage – for microgrids and all these will be gamechangers themselves and large investments will be mobilized.
  • To this end, partnerships and joint actions are important such as the partnership between the Global Solar Council and ISA, the Global Solar Council and IRENA, NSEFI and Exim Bank, NSEFI’s RE Export Promotion Council and Exim Bank, ISA and IRENA.
  • Coal India to be fully supported and encouraged for its solar projects of 3,000 MW: using our combined experience, this will set a very good example of a polluting industry taking great steps in climate change mitigation
  • Initiatives such as the India Africa Youth Energy Forum should be encouraged. Indian industry delegations to foreign countries such as Peru and other Latin American countries, to Vietnam, Nigeria, Ghana and other African countries will greatly

Lastly, I would like to emphasize that large investments – in the order of a trillion dollars for our sector - will be triggered by policies benefitting the people at large, serving the greater goal of achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), universal energy access, access to clean drinking water and laudable activities benefitting all people.