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12 February 2016 K2_CATEGORY IAS Blog


International Solar Alliance (ISA) is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to address their special energy needs and will provide a platform to collaborate on addressing the identified gaps through a common, agreed approach. It is also called as the International Agency for Solar Technologies and Applications (IASTA). It aims to spread cheap solar technology across the globe with pooled policy knowledge. The alliance includes around 120 countries that support the “Declaration on the occasion to launch the international solar alliance of countries dedicated to the promotion of solar energy”.

The Paris declaration on International Solar Alliance states that the countries share the collective ambition to undertake innovative and concerted efforts for reducing the cost of finance and cost of technology for immediate deployment of competitive solar generation, financial instruments to mobilise more than 1000 Billion US Dollars of investments needed by 2030 for the massive deployment of affordable solar energy and to pave the way for future solar generation, storage and good technologies.


ISA’s Mission and Vision is to provide a platform for cooperation among solar resource rich countries where global community including bilateral and multilateral organizations, corporates, industry, and stakeholders can make a positive contribution to the common goals of increasing utilizing of solar energy in meeting energy needs of ISA member countries in a safe, convenient, affordable, equitable and sustainable manner


The overarching objective is to create a collaborative platform for increased deployment of solar energy technologies to enhance energy security & sustainable development; improve access to energy and opportunities for better livelihoods in rural and remote areas and to increase the standard of living.

ISA will work with partner countries in the identification of national opportunities to accelerate development and deployment of existing clean solar energy technologies, the potential for which largely remains untapped. The increased deployment of solar technologies will benefit the countries in terms of direct and indirect employment opportunities generated and the economic activity that will be triggered through electricity and solar appliance access to predominantly rural households


To achieve the objectives, ISA, by way of supplementing the national efforts of the countries, through appropriate means will undertake following activities:

  • Collaborations for joint research, development and demonstration, sharing information and knowledge, capacity building, supporting technology hubs and creating networks;
  • Acquisition, diffusion and indigenization and absorption of knowledge, technology and skills by local stakeholders in the member countries;
  • Creation of expert groups for development of common standards, test, monitoring and verification protocols;
  • Creation of partnerships among country specific technology centers for supporting technology absorption for promoting energy security and energy access;
  • Exchange of officials/technology specialists for participation in the training programs on different aspects of solar energy in the member countries;
  • Encourage companies in the member countries to set up joint ventures;
  • Sharing of solar energy development experiences, analysis on short- and longer-term issues in key energy supply, financing practices, business models particularly for decentralized applications and off-grid applications, including creation of local platforms focusing on implementation solutions and grass root participation;
  • Establish new financial mechanisms to reduce cost of capital in the renewable energy sector and innovative financing to develop; and
  • Collaborate with other multilateral bodies like International Renewable Energy Agency(IRENA), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership(REEEP), International Energy Agency (IEA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN), United Nations bodies; bilateral organizations; Corporates, industry, and other stakeholders can contribute towards the goal of increasing utilization of solar energy in ISA member countries.


To achieve the objectives, ISA will have five key focus areas:

  • Promote solar technologies and investment in the solar sector to enhance income generation for the poor and global environment
  • Formulate projects and programs to promote solar applications
  • Develop innovative Financial Mechanisms to reduce cost of capital
  • Build a common Knowledge e-Portal
  • Facilitate capacity building for promotion and absorption of solar technologies and R&D among member countries.

These focus areas will cater to:

  • Grid connected solar power (Solar parks, Solar thermal projects, Rooftop solar projects, Canal top projects, Solar on water bodies, Farmers and unemployed youths as generators)
  • Off-grid and decentralized applications (Village electrification and mini-grids, Solar lanterns, Mobile chargers, Solar powered telecom towers, Milk chilling centers, Potters wheels, Solar spinner for weavers, street lights, Solar pumps, Solar heating/cooling, etc.).


ISA is proposed to be a multi country partnership organization with membership from solar resource rich countries between the two tropics.

ISA’s proposed governance structure would consist of:

  • An Assembly
  • A Council
  • A Secretariat


To achieve the goals and objectives, and subject to mutual deliberations, following action points have been identified as short term priorities, to be taken up by ISA:-

  • Assisting member countries in drafting solar policies;
  • E-Portal to offer 24/7 real time suggestions for solar projects;
  • Work with ISA member countries to strive for universal access to solar lighting;
  • Preparation of Detailed Project Reports and sharing of best-practices and successful case studies;
  • Exchange best practices and work with member countries in designing financing instruments to mitigate risk and catalyse partnerships to boost investment;
  • Share perspectives on developing electricity systems;
  • Development of standards, specifications and test protocols for solar energy systems;
  • Generate and diffuse key learning on new technologies;
  • Encourage collaboration in solar resource mapping in member countries and in deployment of suitable technologies;
  • Facilitate preparation of plans for solar energy development and deployment;
  • Encourage industry cooperation among ISA member countries;
  • Forge cooperative linkages on development of Centre of Excellence for R&D in ISA member countries; and
  • Designing training programs for students/engineers/ policy makers, etc. and organizing workshops, focused meetings and conferences.


  • People’s Democratic Republic of Algeria
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Republic of Angola
  • Argentina Republic
  • Commonwealth of Australia
  • Commonwealth of Bahamas
  • Peoples Republic of Bangladesh
  • Barbados
  • Belize
  • Republic of Benin
  • Pluri’National State of Bolivia
  • Republic of Botswana.
  • Federal Republic of Brazil
  • Nation of Brunei, Abode of Peace
  • Burkina Faso
  • Republic of Burundi
  • Kingdom of Cambodia
  • Republic of Cameroon
  • Republic of Cape Verde
  • Central African Republic
  • Republic of Chad
  • Republic of Chile
  • People’s Republic of China
  • Republic of Colombia
  • Union of Comoros
  • Congo – Democratic Republic of
  • Congo - Republic of
  • New Zealand
  • Republic of Costa Rica
  • Republic of Cote d’ivoire
  • 31. Republic of Cuba
  • Republic of Djibouti
  • Commonwealth of Dominica
  • Dominican Republic
  • Republic of Ecuador
  • Arab Republic of Egypt
  • Republic of El Salvador
  • Republic of Equatorial Guinea
  • State of Eritrea
  • Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia
  • Republic of Fiji
  • France
  • Gabonese Republic
  • Republic of The Gambia
  • Republic of Ghana
  • Republic of Grenada
  • Republic of Guatemala
  • Republic of Guinea
  • Republic of Guinea-Bissau
  • Republic of Guyana
  • Republic of Haiti
  • Republic of Honduras
  • Republic of India
  • Republic of Indonesia
  • Jamaica
  • Japan
  • Republic of Kenya
  • Republic of Kiribati
  • Laos People’s Democratic Republic
  • Republic of Liberia
  • Libya
  • Republic of Madagascar
  • Republic of Malawi
  • Federation of Malaysia
  • Republic of Maldives
  • Republic of Mali
  • Republic of Marshall Islands
  • Islamic Republic of Mauritania
  • Republic of Mauritius
  • United Mexican State
  • Federated States of Micronesia
  • Republic of Mozambique
  • Republic of Myanmar
  • Republic of Namibia
  • Republic of Nauru
  • The Netherlands
  • Republic of Nicaragua
  • Republic of Niger
  • Federal Republic of Nigeria
  • Sultanate of Oman
  • Republic of Palau
  • Republic of Panama
  • Independent State of Papua New Guinea
  • Republic of Paraguay
  • Republic of Peru
  • Republic of Philippines
  • Republic of Rwanda
  • St. Lucia
  • Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis
  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines
  • Independent State of Samoa
  • Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe
  • Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
  • Republic of Senegal
  • Republic of Seychelles
  • Republic of Sierra Leone
  • Republic of Singapore
  • Solomon Islands
  • Federal Republic of Somalia
  • Republic of South Africa
  • Republic of South Sudan
  • Democratic Socialist Republic of Srilanka
  • Republic of Sudan
  • Republic of Suriname
  • United Republic of Tanzania
  • Kingdom of Thailand
  • Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste
  • Togolese Republic
  • Kingdom of Tonga
  • Republic of Trinidad and Tobago
  • Tuvalu
  • Republic of Uganda
  • United Arab Emirates
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Republic of Vanuatu
  • Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela
  • Socialist Republic of Vietnam
  • Republic of Yemen
  • Republic of Zambia
  • Republic of Zimbabwe


The UN General Assembly Resolution A/RES/36/193 in 1981 underlined the need for cooperation among developing countries and mobilization of financial resources for new and renewable sources of energy. After 2002 UN World Summit on Sustainable Development, many advocacy organizations were set up, primarily to disseminate knowledge about renewable energy. Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) number 7.1, 7.2, 7.a and 7.b clearly state that renewable energy must be given priority in the future agenda of all countries. These read as follows:

SDG- 7 : “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all”.

7.1 By 2030, ensure universal access to affordable, reliable and modern energy services

7.2 By 2030, increase substantially the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix

7.a By 2030, enhance international cooperation to facilitate access to clean energy research and technology, including renewable energy, energy efficiency and advanced and cleaner fossil-fuel technology, and promote investment in energy infrastructure and clean energy technology

7.b By 2030, expand infrastructure and upgrade technology for supplying modern and sustainable energy services for all in developing countries, in particular least developed countries, small island developing States and landlocked developing countries, in accordance with their respective programs of support.


  • India plans to revamp up its domestic solar energy production capacity from 4 gigawatts (in 2015) to 100 gigawatts by 2022.
  • 1 GW is enough to power 700,000 and 750,000 western homes.
  • ISA is to function from the National Institute of Solar Energy in Gurgaon, India. The Government will provide $30 million to form a secretariat for the Alliance and also support it for five years.