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English Translation of Prime Minister's speech at Founding Conference of International Solar Alliance (March 11, 2018)

March 13, 2018

His Excellency President Macron,
His Excellency Presidents and Prime Ministers,
Respected Guests,
Ladies and Gentlemen,
Namaskar!


I accord a warm welcome to you all at the Founding Conference of the International Solar Alliance in Delhi.

The seeds of today's historic day were sown during the 21st Conference of Parties in Paris in November 2015. Today the green shoots have come out of that seed.

France has played an important role in new prospects of this new sapling. This sapling of the International Solar Alliance could not be planted without the joint effort and commitment from all of you. And so I am very grateful to France and to you all.

Out of the 121 potential countries, 61 have already joined the Alliance. Thirty two (32) have ratified the Framework Agreement, but in addition to our all alliance partner countries, the Sun God is our biggest partner, who is illuminating the external atmosphere and providing strength to our resolution.

Friends,

The sun has been lighting up and animating the civilization much before life opened up its eyes on the Earth. From Japan to Peru, Greece or Rome, Egypt, Inca and East Maya Traditions - Every civilization has given the sun its respect and importance.

But in the Indian philosophy, the central place given to the Sun since thousands of years ago is unique. In India, the Vedas have considered the Sun as the soul of the world since thousands of years ago.

In India, the Sun is considered to be the feeder of whole life.

Today, when we are looking for a way to tackle the challenges like Climate Change, then we must look at the balance and the overall views of the ancient philosophy.

Friends,

Our green future depends on what we can do together. I remember the words of Mahatma Gandhi: ''The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems".

The presence of leaders from all over the world today is an expression of the fact that solar energy provides a permanent, effective and economical solution to energy needs of humankind.

Friends,

In India, we have started the world's largest renewable energy expansion program.

We will generate 175 Gigawatt of electricity from renewables by 2022, of which 100 Gigawatt of electricity will be from solar energy.

We have already achieved the target of 20 Gigawatt installed solar power. The growth of energy in India is now more from the renewables than from conventional sources of energy.

In India, the objective of Atal Jyoti Yojana is to install solar energy based street lights in areas with inadequate power supply.

7 million children are getting light through the Solar Study Lamp Scheme for school going children.

If we link other technologies with solar energy, the results become even better. For example, by distributing 28 crore LED bulbs by the Government, we have not only saved more than $ 2 billion in the last three years, but also saved 4 Gigawatt of power. Not only that, even 30 million tons of less carbon dioxide was generated.

Friends,

We want solar revolution not only in India but also in the entire world.

You have also seen Solar mamas trained in India, you have also heard their song, heard their speech, also saw their video. Now you are already familiar with these solar mamas. Their story is inspiring in itself.

We are happy that apart from contributing to ISA Corpus Fund, US $ 62 million has been contributed for the establishment of ISA Secretariat.
I am also happy to announce that we will provide 500 training slots in solar energy to the ISA members every year.

We have either completed or are implementing 13 solar projects worth US $ 143 million worldwide. India is offering $ 1.4 billion in assistance to 27 other projects in 15 other developing countries.

We have set up a project preparation facility which will provide consultancy support to partner countries to design bankable projects.

I am also happy to announce today that India will also launch Solar Technology Mission to fill the gap in solar technology. This mission will have international focus and it will lead our R & D efforts in the solar sector by combining all of resources of our government, technical and educational institutions.

Friends,

The development and use of available solar energy, like abundant wind, will not only add to our prosperity but also reduce the carbon footprint of the Earth.

Friends,

We have to take care of some points. And they are -

On one side there are many countries in which the sun shines throughout the year, but the shortage of resources and technology hinders the use of solar energy and creates a barrier.

On the other hand, there are such islands and countries whose existence is a directly threatened by climate change.

The third thing is that solar energy can be equally useful not only for light but also in many other areas like - traffic, clean cooking, solar pump in agriculture and health care.

In order to promote the use of solar energy, the complete eco-system from technology availability and development, economic resources, reduction in prices, development of storage technology, mass manufacturing, and innovation is very essential.

Friends,

We all have to think about the way forward. I have ten action points in my mind that I want to share with you.

First of all, we have to ensure that better and affordable solar technology is available and accessible to everyone.

We need to increase the solar proportion in our energy mix.

We have to encourage innovation so that solar solutions can be provided for various needs.

We will have to provide concessional financing and low-risk finance for solar projects.

Regulatory aspects and standards have to be developed which will speed up adoption & development of solar solutions.

Developing countries will have to develop consultancy support for bankable solar projects.

There must be more emphasis on greater inclusiveness and participation in our efforts.

We must build an extensive network of centers of excellence that can take care of the local conditions and factors.

Our solar energy policy may be viewed from the angle of the totality of development so that we get more and more contribution towards achievements of SDGs.

We must make the ISA Secretariat strong and professional.

Friends,

I am confident that we will be able to progress through the dynamic development on all these action points through ISA.

Friends,

Today's moment is just the beginning of our journey. Our this Alliance can fill our lives even more with the sun's light. It can also make 'Let us make the Sun brighter' meaningful.

"Vasudhaiva Kutumbakam" has been always the soul of Indian philosophy - that is, 'The whole world is a family'.

If we want to serve the entire earth & humanity then I am confident that we will rise above personal issues & like a family, bring unity and solidarity in the objectives and efforts.

Friends,

This is the same path which was followed by our ancient saints - "Tamaso ma jyotir gamaya", which means "From darkness, lead me to light".

Thank you very much.
Thank You.

(Disclaimer: PM’s Speech was delivered in Hindi. This is an approximate translation of his Speech)
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