President seeks intensified global efforts to promote solar energy

NEW DELHI, March 11, 2018 (BSS) – President M Abdul Hamid today sought intensified global efforts to unlock a new dynamic in solar and other renewable energy to negate the climate change affects as countries like Bangladesh were already exposed to its impact.

“Our priorities are often underpinned by developmental goals . . . Nevertheless, we should not forget to protect environment for the benefit of our future generations,” he told the plenary session of the ‘International Solar Alliance (ISA) Founding Conference’ in the Indian capital here.

President Hamid added: “Clean energy is essential for overall development recognized in SDG-7 (sustainable development goals) for ensuring everyone’s access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy.”

The Bangladesh president said global warming and its subsequent effects on many countries were now a reality with Bangladesh being one of their worst victims.

“Although our share in emitting greenhouse gas is 0.1%, the threats of natural disasters including sea level rise, droughts, floods and cyclones to Bangladesh are abundant,” President Hamid said.

But, he said Bangladesh was trying to put its best efforts to make a fair contribution to fight this challenge as “we are also taking steps to reduce emission of greenhouse gas in future as the development of renewable energy is desired for the developing countries”.

India and France co-host the first edition of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) Summit being joined by heads and ministers of dozens of countries in the daylong event at the Rashtrapati Bhavan.

ISA eyes US$1 trillion investment by 2030 urging private sector to step in the sector to achieve 1TW solar power capacity by that time.

President Hamid said Bangladesh by now joined all global initiatives on renewable energy while he sought all-out support and solidarity from the ISA member states to unlock a new dimension in all areas of renewable energy including solar power.

He said Bangladesh installed around 5 million Solar Home Systems serving around 20 million people of the country while the government also initiated a programme to generate 500 MW of solar-based electricity for adding those to the national grid.

But he put emphasis on investing in renewable energy for improving energy access to rural and underprivileged people as well as the safety of this planet.

The President laid stress on taking well-coordinated and bold policy commitments and much investment to get the desired benefits in days to come.

“Enhancing used of solar power based Improved Cook stove in rural areas has significantly reduced emission of green house gas, increasing energy efficiency. We see similar potential in solar-powered irrigation pumps. Our Renewable Energy Policy’s principle is that 10% of our total electricity will be generated from renewable sources by 2021,” the President pointed out.

The New Delhi solar summit drew heads of state and government of 24 countries and vice-presidents, ministers and representatives from as many as 47 countries out of its 121 member states across the world.

French President Emmanuel Macron and Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi separately gave their inaugural addresses, while Indian External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj gave her welcome speeches in the conference.

On November 30, 2015, India and France, at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris, had launched an International Solar Alliance (ISA) to promote solar energy in developing countries.

The ISA is the first treaty-based international and inter-governmental organisation to be headquartered in India. ISA secretariat is located in Delhi’s neighbouring town of Gurgugram in the state of Haryana.

The ISA initiative was launched at the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris by Indian Prime Minister Modi and French President Francois Hollande with an aim to increase the use of solar energy to reduce pressure on fossil fuels.

The ISA is conceived as a coalition of solar resource rich countries to meet their special energy needs and cooperate on addressing the dentified gaps through making a common, agreed approach.