India-France energy ties: Riding on Metro for green & clean future

On a crisp wintry day, the sun shone brighter on India-France relations as Prime Minister Narendra Modi and President Francois Hollande decided to dump the high-security cavalcade to take the Metro ride to Gurgaon for their date with the International Solar Alliance. The Metro ride was symbolic of the two leaders’ commitment to green energy and ushering in what President Hollande, feted by India as the chief guest at the 67th Republic Day celebrations, has evocatively called a “post-carbon world.”

Underlining their commitment to green energy, the two leaders inaugurated the interim secretariat of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) at Gurgaon on January 25. Mr Hollande laid the foundation stone of the headquarters of ISA. The ISA is aimed at increasing utilisation and promotion of solar energy in solar-rich nations. The event was held at the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE) in Gurgaon.

France has pledged support to the solar projects launched by the member countries of ISA.  France’s development agency AFD Group will provide funding amounting to 300 million Euros for solar projects. France had pledged to finance 2 billion Euros for the development of renewable energies, announced during COP21.

Deepening of green energy partnership was one of the key takeaways from the talks between the leaders of India and France in New Delhi on January 25.

India and France, according to the joint statement, reaffirmed their “commitment to enhance the use of solar energy globally, the leaders underlined the importance of deepening cooperation both bilaterally and under the aegis of ISA in joint research, development, financing and technology innovation as well as diffusion of clean energy and efficiency solutions that will help in promoting energy access in a clean, affordable and sustainable manner.”

The two countries have entered into a partnership to enhance climate oriented investments.  EDF EN and SITAC entered into a partnership with a commitment to invest 155 million Euros in 2016. The new joint venture plan to invest 1 billion Euros by 2021.

Green Habitats

The ongoing cooperation between AFD and ESCO EESL (Energy Efficiency Services Limited) for the promotion of LED lighting, will support the construction of green housing, especially for lower income groups.

Two pacts were signed between CEA (French Alternative Energies and Atomic Energy Commission), Crompton Greaves and Green Ventures. These pacts aim to serve as templates for expanding practical collaboration in the field of renewable energy, including transfer of technology and know-how.

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