‘One Sun, One World One Grid’: PM Modi calls for global solar grid at COP26
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Tuesday launched the Green Grids Initiative—One Sun One World One Grid (GGI-OSOWOG), the first international network of global interconnected solar power grids, jointly with his UK counterpart Boris Johnson, at COP26 here.
“One Sun, One World & One Grid will not only reduce storage needs but also enhance the viability of solar projects. This creative initiative will not only reduce carbon footprints and energy cost but also open a new avenue for cooperation between different countries and regions,” PM Modi said, while delivering his remarks at the ‘Accelerating Clean Technology Innovation and Deployment’ event at COP26.
Modi and Johnson on Tuesday also released the One Sun declaration, which stated, “Realising the vision of One Sun One World One Grid through interconnected green grids can be transformational, enabling all of us to meet the targets of the Paris Agreement to prevent dangerous climate change…these efforts can stimulate green investments and create millions of good jobs. The declaration has been endorsed by 80 ISA member countries.”
Modi said the only challenge with the OSOWOG initiative is that this energy is only available during the daytime and is dependent on the weather. “Solar energy is totally clean and sustainable. Challenge is that this energy is only available during the daytime and is dependent on the weather. ‘One Sun, One World & One Grid’ is the solution to this problem. Through a worldwide grid, clean energy can be transmitted to anywhere & anytime,” he said.
PM Modi reiterated that the idea for the One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) initiative was put forth by him at the First Assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in October 2018.
PM Modi further expressed hope that a common and strong global grid can be developed through cooperation between countries on this initiative. “I am hopeful that a common and strong global grid can be developed through cooperation between ‘One Sun, One World & One Grid’ and ‘Green Grid’ initiatives. Indian space agency ISRO is going to provide a solar calculator application to the world.”
The GGI-OSOWOG will bring together a global coalition of governments, international financial and technical organisations, legislators, power system operators and knowledge leaders to accelerate the construction of the new infrastructure needed for a world powered by clean energy, according to ISA.
ISA also aims to mobilize US$1 trillion of funding by 2030 to assist developing countries in expanding their solar power grids to meet their energy needs. “The One Sun One World One Grid and Green Grids Initiative is an idea whose time has come. If the world has to move to a clean and green future, these interconnected transnational grids are going to be critical solutions,” PM Modi said during the launch.
According to the One Sun declaration, the main areas of work of the initiative will be: investing in solar, wind, storage and other renewable energy generation in locations endowed with renewable resources for supporting a global grid; building long-distance cross-border transmission lines to connect renewable energy generators; developing and deploying cutting edge techniques and technologies to modernise power systems; supporting the global transition to zero emission vehicles through incorporating the role of electric vehicles to help improve grid flexibility; attracting investment into solar mini-grids and off-grid systems to help vulnerable communities gain access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy; developing innovative financial instruments, market structures for solar grid infrastructure.
“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,” Ajay Mathur, director general of International Solar Alliance had said during fourth general assembly of ISA in October.
According to Climate Parliament, one of the partner organisations working on GGI-OSOWOG, the initiative aims to combine a massive increase in solar and wind power with international grids on every continent, connecting energy rich locations such as sunny deserts and windy coastlines. Combine large-scale solar power stations, wind farms and grids with rooftop solar and community grids, including village mini grids, to ensure a reliable, resilient, and affordable supply of clean energy for all.
In May 2021, the United Kingdom and India agreed to combine forces of the Green Grids Initiative and the One Sun One World One Grid initiative and jointly launch GGI-OSOWOG at the COP26 summit being hosted by the UK at Glasgow in November 2021.