The upcoming visit of the French President Emmanuel Macron to India in December ’17 to formalise the International Solar Alliance (ISA) is an event which no doubt calls for wide-scale media coverage as the presence of our respected Prime Minister Narender Modi and the French president during the bi-annual global investor conference on Renewable Energy (Re-Invest 2017), which is to be held in New Delhi would only further strengthen India’s claim to establish itself as a forerunner in the International Solar industry.
We understand that Macron would be in Delhi from December 8 to 10 to hold official talks with PM Modi, as confirmed by France’s ambassador to India Alexandre Ziegler. Prime Minister Modi had visited Paris in June ’17 and the two nations have been instrumental in the establishment of the ISA which aims to serve as a common platform for promoting solar power across the globe. With 121 countries – which have intense solar radiation – already having voted in favour of the mandate to have a unified approach to tackle energy issues, Modi and Macron would now adopt the legal instrument for the International Solar Alliance which was launched in 2015 by PM Modi and then French President Francois Hollande in the presence of former UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Similar to the push to India’s Renewable energy mission which was accorded by the NDA in 2014, Modi’s governance has recently announced the imminent move towards Electric Vehicles with Nitin Gadkari – India’s Minister for Road Transport and Highways – having publicly stated that he would not mind Bulldozing automobile manufacturers who do not move towards clean transportation. This was further to Piyush Goyal’s commitment that India would only sell Electric Vehicles by 2030. This was closely followed by an announcement by French authorities that France would ban the sale of Diesel and Gasoline vehicles by 2040.
10 per cent of India’s installed solar capacity is provided by French companies. The French Development Agency (AFD) was among the first to back this emerging sector via two credit lines extended to the Indian renewable energy development agency (IREDA) and urban development – (is undoubtedly) an area in which many French companies are already present and can offer innovative technologies in urban transport, renewable energy, water and waste treatment
With the impending visit of Macron coinciding with India’s all too sudden and seemingly over exacerbated push towards the implementation of Electric vehicles and its concomitant charging infrastructure – all too specifically in the capital city of Delhi – it begs for us to ask the question of whether the push towards Electric vehicles is a planned implementation of the National Electricity Mobility Mission (NEMM) which was conceptualised in 2012, or simply a hurried and unplanned implementation of critical transportation infrastructure in order to attract investment from India’s 9th largest investment partner who have identified Urban development, smart cities and renewable energy as particularly promising sectors, with more than 60 French companies with recognized expertise already operating in India?
Pascal had said Love Knows Reason that reason cannot know. We all know Pascal to have been a mathematician, physicist, inventor and a writer, and in all probability, he stayed well away from the politics of governance of a nation. If Pascal would have had any inclination towards the politics of governance, he might surely have adapted his thoughts on love to reflect on the reasons behind public policy and decision making, for “Governance knows Reason, that Reason cannot know“