ONE SUN ONE WORLD ONE GRID  – GO GREEN INITIATIVE

Reading time: 6 minutes           

 INTRODUCTION

It all started in 2015 when India with France revealed the idea that the International solar alliance is planning to provide solar energy to all.

The project aims to go step by step. So, in Phase 1 the routes of countries in South Asia, the middle east, southeast Asia will be inter connected with India to share solar and renewable energy to fulfill the electricity needs during the peak periods. Secondly, in phase 2, the power pool places in the African continent will be interconnected to transfer and share renewable and solar energy. Again in back 2018, while addressing the global re-invest meet PM Modi emphasis on giving importance to solar energy with a slogan of ONE SUN ONE WORLD ONE GRID.

The main goal of the project is to connect the world to increase the use of solar energy without limiting it to the daytime. With this idea in mind, India wants to see a future lightening with renewable energy. Which is affordable to all and can be used anywhere in the world for mutual benefit and solar sustainability

WHAT IS ONE SUN DECLARATION?

PM Modi in partnership with UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson revealed about one world one sun one grid project at the COP26 climate meet, which was held in Glasgow. It is a trans-national electricity grid, which has the goal to provide and transfer solar power across the world. Also to increase clean energy transition, and to fulfill sustainable development goals.[1]

WHAT ARE ITS OBJECTIVES?

PM Modi says that solar energy is the cleanest and most sustainable in nature. Because the sun is the source of this energy it is very much limited to the daytime. And also on the weather condition in a particular area.

 Thus, ONE SUN ONE WORLD ONE GRID will work as a solution to this problem. Its objective is to provide clean energy across the globe. So that it won’t limit itself to the daytime.

For example, if in country X there is a day time and in-country Y there is night time. So we can use the solar energy of country “X” to use it in country “Y”. Because of this our reliability on coal will automatically decrease. Also, it has been revealed by PM Modi that for making this project a global hit. ISRO will make a solar calculator, which will be used to trace the solar power potential of the world. So the solar grid initiative will be planned accordingly.

WHO ALL ARE SUPPORTING IT?

The idea that has come to the mind of PM Modi during the first assembly of ISA back in 2018. Thus, India and UK have decided to combine the one world one sun one grid with UK’s green grid initiative. India and France have jointly develop the ISA, which is an inter-governmental organization backed by 101 members, to increase the use of solar power in the world. Therefore this initiative “one world one sun one grid” has the support of 83 ISA members. Also the World Bank and ISA are jointly helping in executing the project.

HOW “ONE WORLD ONE SUN ONE GRID” MAKE THE WORLD MORE FEASIBLE.

When countries start taking part in this initiative it will lure investment for renewable energy. When there are more countries participating and stakeholders were also coordinating then the cost will automatically decrease, which will lead to more reliability on solar energy and higher efficiency for all. It will not only solve the problem of storage but also increase the viability of solar projects in the world. It will also reduce carbon footprint. The money this initiative will save can be used in different areas like poverty alleviation, providing food stability, improving sanitation facilities etc. the global connection will be used in research and development. [2]

 WHY THERE IS A NEED FOR ONE WORLD ONE SUN ONE GRID INITIAIVE?

Realizing the goal of OSOWOG, which connect countries to transfer the solar energy, important for all the nations so to meet the targets of Paris agreement to stop bad effects of climate change. The countries are very much under pressure to reduce global warming. Because the world has already been heated up by 1.1 degree Celsius, The projection based on planned reduction in emission over the next decade, expected to rose by 2.7 degree by 2100. The efforts made by this project will lured more green investments and open new job opportunities. Sharing the solar energy, we can create a more beautiful and peaceful world. [3]

A POWERFUL IMPACT

India has been always aware about the benefits of using renewable energy. Therefore He has started putting money in solar energy projects to achieve 175 GW by 2022. Also INDIA has been god gifted with the abundant solar energy potential nonstop till 300 days. Government of India has started many national schemes to give subsidy and to use renewable energy efficiently as an alternative to light up the country as bright as it is from the past years. Some of the schemes are,

  1. JAWAHARLAL NEHRU NATIONAL SOLAR MISSION – it is also called national solar mission, the main aim of the scheme is to develop India globally as a leader in the solar sector with the help of creative policy condition. The mission target was placing 20,000 MW of grid connection of solar power by 2022, which later changed to 1, 00,000 MW by 2022.
  • GOVERNMENT YOJNA- SOLAR ENERGY SUBSIDY SCHEME- This scheme provides subsidy to the people who have install solar power plant on their rooftops. The price of subsidy varies as per the capacity of solar power plant.
  • DEVELOPMENT OF SOLAR POWER SCHEME- the scheme has an aim to set solar parks in different states in India, each with the capacity above 500KW. It gives financial assistance to develop the necessary infrastructure for establishing solar power plants. It has a target to build minimum 25 solar parks with a capacity of at least 20,000MW.
  • UDAY SCHEME- back on 2015, ujjwal discom assurance yojna has been launched by the government of India to find a solution to revive the electricity diversification and how to get out from the financial mess the electricity sector is in? The main goal of this scheme to give emphasis on renewable energy, conversation, and cost effective power generation system.
  • SECI SCHEME– the main goal of the scheme is to develop large number of rooftop solar power plant and also to implement MNRE and VGF scheme properly. Under the scheme, till date released tenders are for 4307MW for large projects, in which around 675MW has been commissioned.

This claim can be backed after knowing that India’s biggest coal producer “coal India limited” to go net zero energy company by 2023-24. And also largest coal based company “NTPC” has won a project bid of 420 MW of solar power at 2.01/kwh traffic (Chandra bhushan 2020). But the foremost challenged faced by solar system in India, that they don’t have any proper storage system, which results in having no solar energy available during peak night time. At last, India has to use coal to generate light in the night time. [4]

One sun declaration will help India solving this problem. In this initiative India’s goal is to share renewable energy from Africa (in noon) to India (at night). So that there will be no need to use coal to light up the country. This initiative will also create a platform for leaders to discuss climate related policies and to work together to build a better world by using renewable energy.

Also it will give voice to many India’s multinational company to come up with a solution to end global crisis in African and Asian continent, to give them a helping hand in developing technology.

 ONE SUN ONE WORLD ONE GRID will work just an addition to the solar energy in the current grid system for a particular country with a decentralized solar roof top system.

In the case of Africa, which will get the most benefit as currently they don’t have any electrified system, so they get direct financial help to develop the renewable energy infrastructure from ISA, WORLD BANK, WSB under the initiative of ONE SUN ONE WORLD ONE GRID.

First, the task is to get renewable energy all day and night at very reasonable cost so that it will end the countries dependency on coal. When more countries use renewable energy the cost will also automatically decreases by half. Those will also lured countries to OSOWOG initiative.

Also, if country “x” wants to leave the OSOWOG project after joining. It wills not poses a threat to comprehensive multisystem OSOWOG and also it will not create buffer time to have a conversation with stakeholder just because it’s a phase based project.

FINANCIAL STABILITY

As we all know that the main goal of the initiative is to inter connect the countries so most of the funding will come from the member countries to develop its renewable energy stronger.

But this comes with a challenge, because there will be less funding as most of the capital will be coming from small island countries.

Therefore, what should be done to fulfill the capital need of the project?

To answer the question, not surprisingly India has already give proposal to World Bank to invest $3 billion from which they get 30% ownership and $10 billion authorized fund. (mukul asher 2020)

Another big concern it raises, that how to fix the price of solar energy which is being transferred because each country will generate solar energy in different efficiency. So to ask each member to transfer it on single rate or to keep different rate for the efficiency of solar energy in this globalized grid system will be a tough task.

SCIENTIFIC TOIL

There will be no technical or scientific difficulties when the project will inter-connect the nations grid through land because India will give his full technical support and assistance to build the project.

The biggest concern is submarine HVDC, because if the project inter connect the nation grid through sea cable HVDC system then it raises issues like 1. How it affect Indonesia, Africa, Egypt and some other countries? 2. How to calculate the losses in 100km per project?  3. Does it affect the reliability of the system?[5]

There has been a great research on what are the challenges faced after connecting the project through submarine HVDC system. Some challenges that are tough to achieve are;-

  1. Long term reliability without faults
  2. Less environmental impact
  3. Less water pricking in case of damaging of cable. (energy network Australia, 2016)

AT THE POINT OF VIEW FROM GRID SECURITY

 From the stand point of grid security, the best way to transfer the solar power grid through small lines rather than one big line. Because if there is any failure to transfer the grid supply, it will create block outs when one single line was laid for transfer of the solar power grid. But this won’t happen with the small lines transmission.

Also from the point of view of terrorist attacks, the OSOWOG phrase doesn’t refers to one single line to connect the globe. In fact what it actually means is a mix of small and large lines, with the help of public and private partnership to supply it between the producers and the suppliers.

If we divide the lines in small parts, it would eventually benefit the project even if there is any attack (political or for some purposes) and it won’t led the nation to suffer the power due to any miss happening in any part of the world.

Also the mix partnership of public and private ownership would led attackers think twice because most of the times the terrorist steps back from the attack just because their sponsors has an interest on that project or the area. This will help the project run smoothly. As solar power cannot be stored to use in future transmission. It cannot be treated as a lost good or to sell later on higher prices. [6]

 WHAT ARE THE ODDS OF COST FAILURE?

 From the standpoint of geopolitics, the idea is very attractive like from one shot you have killed 3 birds at a time. Example, trying to solve the renewable energy cost problem with global supply chain, creating mutual political cooperation, working on research and development to create new innovations, getting energy security transfer from fossil fuel (Christopher cooper, 2012) But this will achieve if the project gets complete success.

It has been a topic of debate that it will sabotage the relation between countries. If we assume that the project gets the success, then the energy transmission starts from Africa to west Asia to south Asia but if there is a miss happening, then that led to scarcity of energy in Middle East and they will use the energy of south Asia, which led to black-out in many regions of India. Thus it will sabotage the bilateral relation between the countries. [7]

CHALLENGES AND COMPETITIONS

The most important aspect of the project revolves around the money consuming exercise. So, definitely private companies will take part but this will create problem because each private company has different ideologies and agendas that clashes with government based policies and other organizations. But mostly private firms try to dominate government policies in the project.

Thus, the competition between private and government will be incompatible.

Also from the standpoint of global scale, china is the biggest competitor for the OSOWOG project. Because china’s latest strategy of renewable energy from US and its difference of opinion from the UN, make him secure the position of climate leader in the united nation organization.

Therefore, definitely china will get the benefit in globalized world rather than the India.


[1] Green Grids Initiative – One Sun One World One Grid – ClearIAS

[2] Amit sen, all about “one sun one world one grid”, the Hindu, nov 2021. The director of council for energy environment and water, Delhi says; this is a great initiative to fulfill the climate commitment and more renewable energy will not only reduce emission but also works as an alternative to expensive storage system.

[3] PTI, “at COP26 pm MODI calls for global solar power grid-  ‘One Sun, One World, One Grid’ — At COP 26, PM Modi calls for global solar power grid (theprint.in)

[4] ATMAJA GOHAIN BARUAH, 2019 How Can India Become a Global Leader in Solar Power Generation? *How_Can_India_Become_a_Global_Leader_in.pdf*

[5] Asian Development Bank, “Assessment of the Greater Mekong Subregion Energy Sector Development,” p. 47 https://www.adb.org/sites/default/files/institutionaldocument/33872/files/assessment-gms-subregion-energy-sector-development.

[6] Chandra Bhushan,2020 Energy Transition and Just Transition must go hand in hand- as coal mines become rapidly unprofitable https://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/blogs/toi-edit-page/energy-transitionand-just-transition-must-go-hand-in-hand-as-coal-mines-become-rapidly-unprofitable

[7] Benjamin K. Sovacool,2009 Energy policy and cooperation in Southeast Asia: The history, challenges, and implications of the trans-ASEAN gas pipeline (TAGP) network *Energy_policy_and_cooperation_in_Southea trans asean pipeline.pdf

    

Author: MAHIJA BHALLA, G.D GOENKA UNIVERSITY   

Editor: Kanishka VaishSenior Editor, LexLife India

                    

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