In the upcoming UN climate talks in Glasgow, Scotland, the UK and India are going to talk about a solar grid that will be connected through various countries. The project is known as the “Green Grids Initiative” is an initiative by International Solar Alliance. It was first launched in 2015 by India and France which was started to promote solar energy.
The alliance between UK and India was agreed in May this year. Solar has become cheaper in recent years, however there has been an issue of not being used at night. Which resulted to people relying on fossil fuels in the end. However, this new project is about catching the idea that sun is always present in some part of the world always. By connecting the grids, it would be possible to have continuous solar power throughout day and night. In countries like India, the power is soaring and is high time to consider alternative options. The director of International Solar Alliance, Ajay Mathur said, “For example, when it is dark in east Asia, it’s still light in India… If there was a cable between India and east Asia, that solar electricity could be provided to east Asia,”
Grid spanning through global network
Such idea to have solar grids connecting various countries is nothing new. However, it is the first time that is being attempted to implement. According to some people’s perspective this initiative is India’s counter to China’s initiative on road infrastructure and sweeping belt.
As stated by Mathur, the solar power is expected to be as cheap as fossil fuels. Such cost effectiveness would enable the push for more solar plants and storage facilities. It is not as simple as it may sound as various countries an view it as a powerful aspect. Leading to complex agreements where countries have different priorities is to be worked on.
Inititally the plan is to make sure two countries are agreeing depending on their own requirements or needs. Stated as “coalition of the willing” both countries will benefit from the solar electricity. Furthermore Mathur stated, “The number of willing countries will keep on increasing over time, as costs lower and certainties become higher,”
Additionally investors need to be sure of returns along with cost of electricity being affordable. International alliance was hoping to have an agreement with Global Energy Alliance to bring $10 billion fund for the project from various entities like philanthropic organisations, etc. With these aggressive goals, the project is aimed at making things move in a year.