One Sun, One World, One Grid

The One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) is a transnational electricity grid supplying power all over the world. The idea was first proposed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s during the first assembly of the International Solar Alliance (ISA) in 2018.

As per the draft made by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) the scale of the OSOWOG is ambitious, aiming to provide energy to about 140 countries through a common grid that will transfer solar power.

This article will give further information about the One Sun One World One Grid initiative within the context of the IAS Exam.

COP 26 Summit and OSOWOG

  • At the COP-26 climate summit in Glasgow, India launched ‘One Sun One World One Grid’ (OSOWOG).
  • Key Highlights
    • Prime Minister Narendra Modi also mentioned that the Indian Space Research Organisation (ISRO) will develop a solar calculator application to inform countries about the solar potential of any place on the earth using satellite data.
    • He also said that fossil fuels powered many nations to become wealthy during the industrial revolution, but it made the earth and environment poor.
    • This initiative was jointly launched by the United Kingdom and in partnership with ISA and the World Bank Group. 

About OSOWOG

  • The concept behind the OSOWOG is ‘The Sun Never Sets’ and is a constant at some geographical location, globally, at any given point of time.
  • The fundamental concept behind OSOWOS is to develop a transnational grid that will be laid all over the globe to transport the solar power generated across the globe to different load centres. It would thus help in realizing the vision of “One Sun, One World, One Grid” articulated by India.
  • The initiative will help to realize the “three transitions” of energy development.
    • The transition of energy production from fossil fuel to clean energy dominance.
    • The transition of energy allocation from local balance to cross-border and global distribution and
    • The transition from coal, oil, and gas in energy consumption to electric-centric consumption.

What is the need for the OSOWOG?

  • Apart from addressing environmental concerns, India also seeks to have a geopolitical edge over China. Experts are of the opinion that OSOWOG is the answer to China’s One Belt One Road initiative.
  • These same experts are also of the opinion that announcing infrastructure projects in other countries is a way of asserting superiority.
  • Other potential benefits also mean improving the quality of life. The potential benefits include widespread scale-up in energy access, abatement in carbon emissions, lower costs of living and improved livelihoods.
  • Annually, India imports about $250 billion worth of fuels. This includes oil, diesel, LNG, fossil fuels, coal etc.
  • If OSOWOG can be implemented, then India has alternative means to meet its energy requirements through sustainable energy that may reduce imported inflation pressures.

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Challenges of One Sun, One World, One Grid

Although the idea is brilliant where sustainable development is concerned, the OSOWOG faces some serious challenges in its implementation:

  • Due to the development of advanced electricity storage technologies, it becomes less viable to follow the sun at any latitude or be dependent on its rays all the time.
  • Large grids won’t be necessary, as installing a microgrid is enough. Microgrids are individual solar panels that one can even set up at the rooftop of their house.
  • The bigger the electricity grid the more vulnerable it is to accidents, natural disasters, cyber-attacks etc that can disrupt the electricity supply.

Most of the equipment for solar equipment like cells, panels etc comes from China. This can be a hurdle as China will be least inclined in supporting a rival project like the One Sun One World One Grid

  • There can be trust issues between the grid participants on account of sovereignty and local implications.
  • Interconnection may open ways for other countries to muscle in on other economies and even likely bring them to a grinding halt.

To know more about other Government Schemes, visit the linked article.

How can the OSOWOG be implemented?

  • Despite the grand scale of the One Sun, One World, One Grid and a host of other challenges it faces, there are ways it can be implemented to a certain extent
  • Creation of a Supranational Rule-Based Organisation: A supranational organisation can implement the OSOWOG. In this case, the ISA can be that organisation.
  • Engaging with China constructively: Given India’s dependence on Chinese imports, OSOWOG will have to find ways to deal with China while at the same time give credence to local industry under the Make in India program.
  • In the end, it is a novel idea to establish a global solar grid, considering the implications of climate change.
  • Since it might not be possible to rope in 140 countries, India can start small by creating a grid consisting of SAARC nations.

For more information about upcoming Government Exams, visit the linked article. More exam-related preparation materials will be found through the links given below:

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