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  • Context (ET): Malta becomes 119th member of International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • ISA is a treaty-based international organization of solar resource rich countries (Suryaputras), lying fully or partially between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
  • The ISA is the brainchild of India and France “to mobilise efforts against climate change through the deployment of solar energy solutions”.
  • It was launched at the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) held in Paris, in 2015.
  • Vision: Let us together make the sun brighter.
  • Mission: Every home no matter how far away, will have a light at home.
  • The ISA is guided by its ‘Towards 1000’ strategy, which aims:
    • To mobilize USD 1000 billion of investments in solar energy solutions by 2030.
    • To deliver energy access to 1000 million people using clean energy solutions.
    • To install 1000 GW of solar energy capacity.
    • To mitigate global solar emissions to the tune of 1000 million tonnes of CO2 every year.
  • Membership: More than 120 signatories. All UN member states are now eligible to join the ISA.
    • Countries that do not fall within the Tropics can join the alliance with the exception of voting rights.
  • Headquarters: National Institute for Solar Energy of India, Gurugram.
  • The United Nations General Assembly granted observer status to the ISA in 2021.

Governance Structure

Assembly

  • The ISA Assembly is the apex decision-making body of ISA, in which each Member Country is represented.
  • It makes decisions concerning the implementation of the ISA’s Framework Agreement and coordinated actions to be taken to achieve its objectives.
  • The Assembly meets annually at the ministerial level at the ISA’s seat.
  • It assesses the aggregate effect of the programmes and other activities in terms of deployment of solar energy, performance, reliability, cost and scale of finance.

Steering committee

  • It is responsible for providing strategic guidance to the ISA and overseeing its operations.
  • The Steering Committee meets to review progress and make recommendations to the Assembly.

Projects of ISA

One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG)

  • The idea of OSOWOG was first floated by India in 2018 during the first assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA).
  • It is a part of ISA and is a trans-national electricity grid supplying solar power across the globe.
  • Objective: Facilitating global cooperation on building a global ecosystem of interconnected renewable energy resources and building a common grid to transfer solar power.
  • Vision: The Sun Never Sets
  • It will help in three energy transitions:
    1. Switch of energy production from fossil fuel to clean energy.
    2. Switch of energy allocation from local balance to cross-border and global distribution.
    3. Switch of energy consumption from coal, oil and gas to electric-centric consumption.
  • The initiative would be carried out in three phases:
    1. Phase 1: Interconnect the grids of the Middle East, South Asia, and Southeast Asia.
    2. Phase 2: Connect the Asian grid with the African grid.
    3. Phase 3: Create a global grid.

Indian Technical and Economic Cooperation (ITEC) Scheme

  • Through the scheme, India has been supporting the ISA by providing training to master trainers in the field of solar energy.
  • The duration of the training is 21 days and all costs are borne by the GoI.

Solar Technology Application Resource Centre (STAR C) Initiative

  • It is capacity-building & institutional strengthening initiative in developing Member Countries.
  • It aims to cultivate the desired human capacity and skills among a Member Country’s populace to encourage energy transition activities, creating jobs & contributing to country’s economic growth.
  • STAR Centres act as hubs of technology, knowledge, and expertise on solar energy and are a go-to place for a Member Country at the regional or country levels.
  • They act as an interface between countries sharing solar energy development experiences, undertaking joint research, promoting development & demonstration, capacity building, and creating regional & global networks.

ISA Solar Fellowship for Mid-career Professionals

  • Objective: To contribute towards the long-term development needs of member countries, through the creation of a skilled and qualified professional manpower for management of solar energy projects, programmes and policies.
  • Under this scheme, fellowships in the field of solar energy management will be offered to mid-career professionals from ISA countries for pursuing a master’s degree in renewable energy management and economics.

Malta

  • Malta, or the Republic of Malta, is an archipelago located in the central Mediterranean Sea.
  • Malta is south of Sicily, north of Libya, and east of Tunisia.
  • It is at the part of the Mediterranean Sea that separates Italy from the coast of Africa.
  • Capital: Valletta
  • The country comprises five islandsMalta (the largest), Gozo, Comino, and the uninhabited islets of Kemmunett (Comminotto) and Filfla.

Malta country

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