06 November 2021, Glasgow, Scotland: At a meeting of the Steering Committee of the ‘Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid’ (GGI-OSOWOG), the United States of America’s Secretary of Energy Jennifer Granholm said that the, “United States is excited to be back in the climate conversation”. Citing to the One Sun Declaration, Secretary Granholm said that, “all the energy humanity uses in a year is equal to the energy that reaches the earth from the sun in a single hour,” while stating that the Grid-Sun combination will save the planet: “The GGI-OSOWOG is focusing on the two most important pieces of the puzzle. We at the US Department of Energy are happy to be a partner with GGI-OSOWOG.”
The International Solar Alliance (ISA), India Presidency of the ISA, and the UK COP Presidency had launched the ‘Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid’ (GGI-OSOWOG), during the World Leaders Summit of the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow on 2nd November 2021. The Steering Committee of GGI-OSOWOG comprises of 5 members – the United States of America, Australia, France, the United Kingdom, and India. To help deliver the vision of One Sun One World One Grid, 80 countries have resolved to combine their efforts to create more inter-connected grids, endorsing the One Sun Declaration.
Energy Secretary Granholm further added that the US is focusing on next-generation technologies to ensure solar panels and grids are consistently efficient across markets and geographies. The US, she said “is interested in helping countries that do not have access to electricity by leveraging the power of the sun.”
Emphasising Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision, Mr Bhupendra Yadav, Minister of Environment, Forest and Climate Change, Government of India said that, “we must return to the Sun to save the Earth. As the world progresses to achieve new heights economically & socially, solar energy will power the transition. The GGI-OSOWOG initiative has sustainable development and climate change mitigation at its core with focus on underserved areas. It will stimulate green investment and create millions of green jobs.”
Continuing France’s stance of solidarity and strengthening partnerships with emerging countries to accelerate decarbonization Mr Jean-Yves Le Drian, Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs, Government of France said, “France, along with European Union, has acquired great experience in grids, which we are willing to share with the OSOWOG initiative.”
Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General of International Solar Alliance, quoting American poet Shel Silverstein, said that, “We need to make the cords [between the earth and sun] long enough…The success of the massive GGI-OSOWOG initiative depends on a country’s own grid expansion plans, which would require investments”. Dr Mathur added that, “the grid interconnections at intra and inter regional levels play a significant role to decarbonise our energy systems by using solar and other renewable energy sources placed in different time zones and amplifying that impact at large scale. We look forward to a highly interconnected geo-economic future that assimilates large scale international networks and arrangements for a better and more resilient interconnected world that will keep more decisions locally empowered but at a global level.”
The World Bank expressed support for International Solar Alliance and the governments of UK and India for the GGI-OSOWOG initiative. Mr Riccardo Puliti, Vice President for Infrastructure at the World Bank said that “the OSOWOG initiative has the potential to integrate the global electricity system into one that is geared towards a higher share of variable renewable energy while reducing consumption of fossil fuel. This will usher in a new era of harnessing a much higher share of renewable energy capitalising the energy transition that is taking place globally and helping build an ecosystem based on mutual trust and shared benefit.” The World Bank expects this initiative to help leverage the benefits of complementarity between renewable generators and non-centres across continents by getting them interconnected.
The One Sun Declaration for GGI-OSOWOG will be focused on building new transmission lines crossing frontiers and connecting different time zones, creating a global ecosystem of interconnected renewables that are shared for mutual benefit and global sustainability. This will be combined with expanded and modernised national and regional grids and complemented with the rapid scale-up of mini-grids and off-grid solar solutions.
Agreeing that collaboration is essential to make the world achieve its climate goals, the ISA-led political declaration will develop an action agenda for global cooperation. Through working groups of interested governments, regulators, financiers, institutions, companies, legislators and researchers, we will seek to provide a common global framework for efforts on:
- Investing in solar, wind, storage and other renewable energy generation in locations endowed with renewable resources for supporting a global grid.
- Building long-distance cross-border transmission lines to connect renewable energy generators and demand centres across continents, underpinned by effective and mutually beneficial cross-border power trading arrangements.
- Developing and deploying cutting edge techniques and technologies to modernise power systems and support green grids that can integrate billions of rooftop solar panels, wind turbines and storage systems.
- Supporting the global transition to zero emission vehicles through incorporating the role of electric vehicles to help improve grid flexibility.
- Attracting investment into solar mini-grids and off-grid systems to help vulnerable communities gain access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy without grid-access in their own areas, enhancing socio-economic development and a resilient power supply for all.
- Developing innovative financial instruments, market structures, and facilitate financial and technical assistance to attract low-cost capital, including climate finance, for global solar grid infrastructure.
Through these efforts, the countries intend to cooperate internationally to share best practices and ideas. ISA aims to help mobilize US$1 trillion of funding by 2030 to assist developing countries in expanding their solar power grids. The initiative is widely seen as a big and bold move in ISA’s ongoing efforts to realise a global solar transition.
The global grid concept was first announced by India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi in October 2018 during the first assembly of the ISA. In May 2021, the UK pledged technical, financial and research support for the OSOWOG project.
About the International Solar Alliance
The International Solar Alliance (ISA), was launched at COP21 in Paris and has recently expanded its membership scope to include all UN member states. There are 90 signatories and 193 prospective members. The ISA provides a dedicated platform for co-operation, through which the global community, including governments, bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and other stakeholders, can contribute to help achieve the common goal of increasing the use and quality of solar energy in meeting energy needs of prospective ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner.
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Dr. Megha Pushpendra
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The International Solar Alliance
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