Statement by the French President on Solar Alliance

Statement by H.E. Mr François Hollande, President of the French Republic on The International Solar Alliance.

Gurgaon, 25 January 2016

Discours lors de l'inauguration du Siège de l... par elysee

Hon’ble Prime Minister,

You have done us the great honour of associating us with the inauguration of this equipment that conveys the launch of the solar alliance.

We had conceived this Alliance when, Mr Prime Minister, you were in Paris in April last year. It was a wonderful idea that came from a country that since time immemorial has been worshipping the sun in the morning so that he may bring all his energy to the Earth.

This idea came from you because you had two goals that we shared: developing solar energy and making this energy accessible to all.

During the Paris Climate Conference, you had wanted this Alliance to be expanded to include all the countries that wished to adhere to it. More than 100 responded to the call and thus, we formed this international solar alliance in Paris. In record time – just a month later – we are here and we are laying the foundation stone of this international solar alliance.

Your country is the precursor, your country is the promoter, your country is the investor as you have decided to generate 40% of your electricity from renewable energy by 2030.

You have also wished to launch a great programme for smart cities, for clean energy, for combating pollution, for energy efficiency. So France had to be at your side and that is the significance of my visit today: to come and present you this alliance. Prime Minister Modi and I have taken the metro to show that we subscribe to this perspective of controlling our energy consumption and our will to have as much clean mobility as possible.

Here, I would also like to express France’s gratitude for the role Prime Minister Modi played during the Climate Conference, because he wished climate justice to be inscribed in the agreement that we were in the process of negotiating. He also wanted major initiatives to be launched and not simply have proclamations written. He also wanted us to be able to send a message of confidence to humanity.

He also demanded along with other countries that technologies be made available for sharing so that we may make the twenty-first century a new era for humanity, what he himself called a “paradigm shift”.

Through this alliance, France wishes to show that all its experiences, all its skills, all its technologies can be shared, that we keep nothing for ourselves. We exchange, we inform, we give the best that science and technology can offer to humanity.

French companies are grouped under one umbrella alliance precisely to contribute to the development of solar energy in India. Today, we therefore wish, after the agreement signed in Paris, marked by the solar alliance, to open a new path. This path will enable us to give many countries that often have the sun as their only resource the means to produce electricity and meet the needs of a great part of the population.

The issue goes well beyond France and India; this is about enabling hundreds of millions of people in Asia, Africa, everywhere in the world to have clean and abundant energy.

The issue is also mobilizing very significant financing; we have estimated that more than 1000 billion dollars of investments are necessary for developing this energy by 2030 and therefore we will also be mobilizing all the means that were provided for by COP21 for placing these resources at the disposal of the countries that wish to develop solar energy.

The solar alliance will act in three directions: first, bringing together the demand of the countries with strong solar potential to reduce financing costs. Next, open the markets to reduce investment costs. Lastly, transfer the necessary technologies of developed countries to developing ones. We will therefore convince all the governments to adopt this most favourable regulatory financial framework and ensure that investments can be financed.

The initial projects will be launched swiftly. The future headquarters of the alliance is here in India. The first meeting was held a few days ago in Abu Dhabi, and here, too, France wished to set an example.

I would like to announce here that the French Development Agency (AFD) will earmark 300 million euros for solar development energy for the next five years to finance the first batch of projects. I would also like to announce that our companies, our research institutes, our diplomatic network will be mobilized to attain all the goals of the alliance.

We also want more partners to join us. We will have the opportunity of launching this call for partners during the signing of the climate agreement, which will take place in April in New York.

And then there are Indo-French projects. France would like to participate in all the tender calls that are floated so that we may install one additional gigawatt and mobilise all the territories that may wish to be associated with this process.

Finally, very important agreements were signed on the occasion of my visit and French companies were thus fully involved in this process.

So this, Mr Prime Minister, is the message that I came bearing; you have succeeded not in mooting an idea, desiring an alliance, you have succeeded – thanks to the COP21, thanks to the conclusion of the agreement – in carrying an initiative that will now be executed at the global scale.

In certain periods of our History, we need great thinkers and great innovators. We need great voices to say what the world must do, what it can achieve, what dreams we must pursue and what projects we must accomplish. We are duty-bound to protect Nature.

The great Indian thinker, Swami Vivekananda, had said this. Nature is subject to laws, laws of its own action that can never be broken, and if you break one of these laws, all Nature will disappear in a instant. The world did not heed this message. During the same epoch, Victor Hugo relayed this message, saying man is at one with the Earth, the Earth is at one with the sun; remove one term and the balance will totter. Yes, Victor Hugo had already imagined solar energy.

Today, India and France have met so that this wonderful idea, this great idea of protecting humanity and using what Nature offers us through the sun, may grow here in India and become a model for the whole world. Thank you, dear Prime Minister, for having had this desire. I thank all those that wish to partner with the alliance. Long live the international solar alliance!

Last modified on 29/01/2016

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