OSOWOG AT THE UPCOMING CONFERENCE OF PARTIES (COP26).

  • One Sun, One World, One Grid (OSOWOG)India and the UK are likely to announce a joint declaration on “one sun, one world, one grid” — or OSOWOG at the upcoming Conference of Parties (COP26).
  • The UN Climate Change Conference, or COP26, is scheduled to be held between 31st October and 12th November in Scotland.
  • The concept of OSOWOG is what the British have called a green grid.
  • The idea behind the concept is a trans-national electricity grid supplying solar power across the globe.

Important points:

  • The vision behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
  • This is by far one of the most ambitious schemes undertaken by any country (India) and is of global significance in terms of sharing economic benefits.
  • It has been taken up under the technical assistance program of the World Bank
  • The OSOWOG plan may also leverage the International Solar Alliance (ISA), co-founded by India that has 80 countries as members.
  • Help all the participating entities in attracting investments in renewable energy sources as well as utilizing skills, technology and finances.
  • Lead to reduced project costs, higher efficiencies and increased asset utilization for all the participating entities.
  • Resulting economic benefits would positively impact poverty alleviation and support in mitigating water, sanitation, food and other socio-economic challenges.
  • Allow national renewable energy management centres in India to grow as regional and global management centres.
  • This move, during the time of the Covid-19 pandemic, gives India the opportunity to be seen as taking a lead in evolving global strategies.

Issues:

  • The project is seen as an Indian endeavour for world leadership but under Covid-19 uncertainties, the geopolitical implications of projects like OSOWOG are hard to decipher.
  • The mechanism of cost-sharing will be challenging, given the varied priorities of participating countries depending on their socio-economic orders.
  • The OSOWOG will turn out to be an expensive, complex and very slow progress project.
  • The strategic benefits, if any, of having a single grid will be obliterated in the wake of any geopolitical problem.
  • In India, the major issue of renewable energy developers is to deal with different state governments and hence, different laws and regulations.
  • Further, the project also contradicts the Prime Minister’s Aatmanirbhar Bharat (self-dependent India) vision, as it extends the reliance for a major strategic entity, energy supply, to other countries through this grid.

SOURCE: THE HINDU,THE ECONOMIC TIMES,MINT

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