World solar technology summit: A blueprint for the energy intensive sector?

(EurActiv, 24 Sep 2020) The world solar technology summit, which took place in India earlier this month, could in many ways be a model for the decarbonisation of the energy-intensive sector, which includes industries such as steel, cement, chemicals, non-ferrous metals and glass, writes Gauri Khandeka.

Gauri Khandekar is a researcher at the Institute for European for Studies at the Vrije Universitaet Brussel.

On 8 September 2020, the first world solar technology summit took place, organised by the International Solar Alliance (ISA) and facilitated by India. The virtual summit brought together more than 26,000 participants from 149 countries to focus on state-of-the-art and next-generation solar energy technologies, related new business models and promote investments in the solar sector.

The summit is noteworthy for four key reasons:

  • For one, it is the first platform to directly target sectoral decarbonisation (here: energy sector) on a global scale through technology development and propagation. Such international sector-focused decarbonisation platforms could potentially have a significant impact on sectoral decarbonisation but remain sorely amiss.
  • Second, the summit brought together the latest know-how on low-cost and innovative/disruptive solar technologies. It hosted a CEO conclave of the world’s largest corporations active in the development and scaling up of solar technologies and storage solutions, and convened leading academics, scientists, researchers and innovators.
  • Third, the summit also launched a journal on Solar Energy (I JOSE) which would facilitate authors from across the world to publish their articles on solar energy, further enabling knowledge transfer and sharing of best practices.
  • More importantly, later this year the ISA will launch a World Solar Bank with authorised capital of around USD 15 billion to fund solar projects and bring down technology costs.

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EurActiv, 24 Sep 2020: World solar technology summit: A blueprint for the energy intensive sector?