In a significant step towards harnessing and promoting solar energy, India and UK launched a transnational great initiative - One Sun One World One Grid (OSOWOG) - on the sidelines of the UN climate conference COP26. The OSOWOG envisages building a global solar grid that will facilitate the transfer of solar power from one part of the world to another.
The idea was first announced in 2018 in the first assembly of another International entity, the International Solar Alliance (ISA). It involves building and scaling inter-regional energy grids to shave solar energy across the globe, leveraging the differences of time zones, seasons, resources and prices between countries and regions. It will also help decarbonizes energy productions which is today the largest source of global greenhouse gas emissions.
The OSOWOG initiative is not a panacea from electrification ills, but it is an important step for making the transition to renewable energy possible. An integrated global grid will allow easier trading of renewable energy from where it is best produced to where it is needed. One challenge that many grid connected people face is that the grid is unreliable. By having interconnecting grid across the world, we can assure that there are less points of failure in the system and hence allow for greater reliability for power.
The grand ambitious launch and the speech is made at the OSOWOG initiative sound like a panacea for energy related ills. But the real question is will this actually help on the ground within India ? With the rising share of renewable electricity, balancing demand and supply will become critical. Just as Norway acts as a giant "battery" for Europe, so can such an interconnected grid enable India and Asia to effectively use renewable power. How this may be a game changer in the green energy space, it may reveal in future itself.