Power Minister Meets French Delegation, Discusses Energy Transition Collaboration

Power Minister Meets French Delegation, Discusses Energy Transition Collaboration Union Power Miniter RK Singh met a French delegation in New Delhi. Photo by-PIB

Union Minister for Power R. K. Singh recently held a meeting in New Delhi with Chrysoula Zacharopoulou, Minister of State for Development, Francophonie, and International Partnerships, attached to the Minister for Europe and Foreign Affairs.

The minister, who also holds the additional portfolio of the New and Renewable Energy also met Emmanuel Lenain, Ambassador of France to India; Guillaume Pottier, Political Advisor to the Minister of State; and Pablo Ahumada, Political Counsellor, Embassy of France in India during the meet.

A key focus area of the discussion was a collaboration for accelerating the global energy transition powered by solar energy, especially under the institutional framework of the International Solar Alliance, of which India is the President, and France is the Co-President.

Singh emphasized the need for the International Solar Alliance to take up more solar energy projects, especially in Africa. “The economically strong countries will find the renewable energy funds themselves, while the economically weak countries would need green funds. We will have to help such countries who need funds,” he said.

The two sides observed that almost half of the African continent does not have access to electricity. Noting that alongside energy transition, the focus has to be also on ensuring energy access as well, Singh spoke of the need to help the ISA forge ahead in this direction. The two sides also observed that Africa is fine with decarbonization as access to electricity is very limited at present; in this scenario, getting access through solar energy is the cheapest and the simplest option, said the minister.

Singh expressed the need for three funds: insurance for renewable energy projects, payment security mechanism, and arrangements for debt financing. “Once established, these funds will grow due to contributions and interest payments; in India, too, our investment is coming because of a fund we set up as a payment security mechanism,” the minister said.

Singh said that the ISA should set up a de-risking mechanism, tap more green funds and thus promote grid-scale solar energy projects in the African continent. The two sides also noted Kenya’s success in renewable energy and discussed the idea of holding a conference by ISA in Kenya.

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