India, France Unveil International Solar Alliance
India and France marked the first day of the UN climate summit in Paris by unveiling a new international solar alliance, with more than 120 countries participating.
“Solar technology is evolving, costs are coming down and grid connectivity is improving,” Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi told a news conference. “The dream of universal access to clean energy is becoming more real. This will be the foundation of the new economy of the new century.”
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The alliance represents “the sunrise of new hope, not just for clean energy, but for villages and homes still in darkness, for mornings and evening filled with a clear view of the glory of the sun,” Modi said.
“What we are putting in place is an avante garde of countries that believe in renewable energies,” said French President François Hollande. “This initiative gives meaning to sharing technology and mobilizing financial resources, in an example of what we wish to do in the course of the climate conference.”
India is contributing US$20 million toward an eventual target of US$400 million for the alliance, and will host the alliance’s offices. Participating businesses include Areva, Engie, Enel SpA, HSBC France, and Tata Steel.
“It is very, very exiting to see India nailing its colours to the mast and providing leadership on this issue,” said SolarPower Europe Director James Watson. “It will mean more opportunities for solar across the world and that can only be positive for combating climate change.”