Glasgow climate summit likely to adopt India’s plan of global solar grid
The Glasgow climate change conference (COP 26) will likely adopt an ambitious plan to build a global solar grid that was put forth by India. The plan is called One Sun One World One Grid (Osowog), and it envisages building a global solar grid that will facilitate the transfer of solar power from one part of the world to another. The International Solar Alliance or ISA is the body in charge of implementing this initiative.
“The government asked ISA to carry out a study on the viability of the initiative. We hope to share a declaration (on Osowog) that can be adopted at COP 26,” said Ajay Mathur, director general, ISA. TERI, and French energy firms AETS, and EDS are also working on the plan.
Osowog is one of the main issues that will be discussed at the ongoing fourth general assembly of ISA. The others are a $1 trillion investment road map for solar energy generation capacity, and a blended financial risk mitigation mechanism.
The UK and the government of India will also jointly launch a global ‘Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid’ (GGIOSOWOG) at COP 26 focused on global technical, financial and research cooperation to help facilitate cross-border renewable energy transfer projects, ISA said.
The concept of a single global grid for solar energy was first suggested by India at the first assembly of the ISA in 2018. It involves building and scaling interregional energy grids to share solar energy across the globe, leveraging the differences of time zones, seasons, resources, and prices between countries and regions.
“We are assessing the readiness for Osowog which would mean connecting regional grids. The sun never goes down; when one side of the planet is dark there is light on the other side. For example, East Asia gets the first light of sun and it is also where the sun sets first but India still gets sunlight when its sunset in East Asia so electricity can flow from India (to East Asia) during those hours. Similarly, west Asia and Africa can supply electricity to India when it’s dark here. The concept offers an opportunity to use solar energy 24 hours a day. ISA is studying the viability of the concept through the World Bank and Électricité de France. They have already found that under certain circumstances this transfer can be economically viable,”explained Mathur at the assembly.
“With India’s Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, the World Bank and the ISA signing a tripartite agreement on Osowog, the initiative could be the world’s most important renewables catalyst,” an ISA statement added.
US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry and the European Commission Executive Vice President for the European Green Deal, Frans Timmermans will be addressing ISA assembly on Wednesday.
“With the rising share of renewable electricity, balancing demand and supply will become critical. Just as Norway acts as a giant “battery” for Europe, so can such an interconnected grid enable India and Asia to effectively use renewable power. Some studies have estimated that at more than 70-80% of renewable energy, the cost of grid integration can grow exponentially. So, building such a grid shows foresight in preparing for the low carbon energy transition,” said Ulka Kelkar, Director, Climate Program, World Resources Institute India.