NEW DELHI, June 26, 2024 — The International Solar Alliance (ISA) will host the first International Solar Festival in New Delhi on September 5-6, 2024, said Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, ISA, at a distinguished gathering in the city, in the presence of Shri Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE); Ms Saina Nehwal, Former World Number 1 Badminton Player, Olympian, and Padma Bhushan Awardee; and Ms Arushi Sana, Official Youth Ambassador, COP28 UAE.

Dr Bhupinder with attendees

The event was attended by representatives from the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy; and the diplomatic Missions of the ISA member countries, including Dominican Republic, the Syrian Arab Republic, Argentina, Israel, Uruguay, Denmark, Chile, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, El Salvador, Republic of Guinea, Republic of Fiji, Bhutan, South Sudan, Spain, Senegal, Cuba, Ethiopia, and Costa Rica, among others.

The International Solar Alliance is an international organization that works with governments to improve energy access and security worldwide and promotes solar power as a sustainable pathway to transition to a carbon-neutral future.

Addressing the delegates, Shri Bhupinder Singh Bhalla, Hon’ble Secretary, Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE), said, “As a global climate leader, India champions pragmatic, affordable and sustainable solutions that help nations meet their developmental needs. The International Solar Alliance catalyzes this vision by creating an ecosystem of support to solarize underserved communities across the globe. As a founding member of the ISA, we stand ready to support the Global South, ensuring an inclusive path to a sustainable future for all nations. The upcoming International Solar Festival in September will accelerate the global transition to equitable, accessible clean energy. Together, through shared knowledge and collective action, the festival will take ahead our ambition to achieve a future where clean energy is accessible to all.”

Dr Ajay Mathur, Director General, International Solar Alliance, said, “While the urgency of climate action has never been greater, the opportunity has also never been more profound. Solar energy is reaching and transforming the world’s underserved communities, creating new jobs, stimulating local economies, fostering innovation, and reducing emissions. The International Solar Festival 2024 will highlight and celebrate the transformative power of solar energy and its role in powering new opportunities across the globe, leading the way to universal energy access and advancing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Through our framework of partnership and purpose that ties together businesses, colleges, youth, women, and communities, we will unlock the full potential of solar energy, drive significant investments, and pave the way for a sustainable and vibrant future.”

Also in attendance were representatives from multilateral agencies, including the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP); private sector companies including Accenture and TATA Capital; industry bodies such as the National Solar Energy Federation of India; climate think-tanks including The Energy and Resources Institute (TERI), the Alliance for an Energy Efficient Economy (AEEE), the Center for Study of Science, Technology and Policy (CSTEP), and the Center for Social and Economic Progress (CSEP), and Development Alternatives, among others.

Dr Mathur, along with Ms Saina Nehwal and Ms Arushi Sana, unveiled the festival’s logo and a short curtain raiser film, before commencing a discussion on the theme of ‘Building a Solar Future Together’.

Speaking on gender inclusivity and community building for sustainable development, Ms Saina Nehwal said, “The solar energy transition must engage, involve and empower women to build stronger, more resilient communities and ensure the benefits of clean energy reach everyone. As we prepare for a challenging climate future, we need to consider the long-term impact on rural women everywhere. We must also make clean energy a topic of conversation among our youth, inspiring responsible choices for generations to come.”

Ms Arushi Sana said, “By educating youth on how to drive the solar energy transition through innovation, advocacy, and entrepreneurship, we can unlock their tremendous potential. This is what the International Solar Festival, with its vision of collaboration and partnership between youth-led initiatives, academia, industry, community, and policy, aims to achieve. Together, we can co-create a future that is good for planet, people, and prosperity.”