International Current Affairs - 2019

Latest International Current Affairs 2019 with news summaries and current events in International developments, geopolitical, organizations, groupings and fora related updates for India and world with all important national news updates and events for the year 2019.

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India gains access to Bolivian Lithium Reserves

India and Bolivia have signed an agreement for the development and industrial use of lithium, a prime component used to power electric vehicles and cell phones during the state visit of the President Ram Nath Kovind to Bolivia.

Forging Partnerships

  • India and Bolivia agreed to forge a mutually beneficial partnership to facilitate Bolivian supplies of lithium Carbonate to India and foster joint ventures for lithium battery/cell production plants in India. This agreement will make Bolivia, which is known to have one-fourth of the world’s lithium reserves, one of the major provider of metal for India’s e-mobility and e-storage needs.
  • The agreement facilitates mechanisms for the commercialization of Lithium Carbonate and Potassium Chloride produced in Bolivia by Yacimientos de Litio Bolivianos Corporación (YLB – Corporación).

Why the agreement can be a game changer?

  • Bolivia is estimated to hold over 60 per cent of the world’s reserves for lithium, which is required for lithium-ion batteries for portable electronics, and electric vehicles, but has not yet started producing it commercially.
  • India is the second largest manufacturer of mobile phones in the world and has the ambitious goal of 30 per cent electric vehicles by 2030. But India imports all its lithium-ion batteries since India has no known sources of lithium, and zero lithium-ion battery manufacturing capabilities currently.
  • As a result, India is heavily dependent on China, Taiwan and Japan for import, especially of batteries required for portable electronics.
  • With the MoU number of Indian companies setting up production capabilities in Bolivia goes up, as well as the import of lithium to India. Domestic production is also set to see a boost, from the automotive perspective. Further, the arrival of hybrids and electric vehicles from as early as 2020 onwards, will force manufacturers to look at local production.

This agreement could turn out to be the backbone for the recently launched FAME India policy (Faster Adoption and Manufacture of (Hybrid and) Electric Vehicles) and will also give a substantial push to India’s ambition to have at least 30 per cent of its vehicles run on electric batteries by 2030.

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Bolivia Joins International Solar Alliance

During the state visit of the President Ram Nath Kovind to Bolivia, Bolivia has signed the framework agreement to join the International Solar Alliance.

International Solar Alliance

International Solar Alliance (ISA) aims to provide a common platform to address the specific solar technology deployment needs of the solar resource-rich countries located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.

Availability of abundance of solar energy in these countries can be utilised to generate cost-effective solar power to address the challenges of the lack of universal energy access, energy equity and affordability.

International Solar Alliance will not duplicate the efforts that other bodies like International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency Partnership (REEEP), International Energy Agency (IEA), Renewable Energy Policy Network for the 21st Century (REN21), United Nations bodies, bilateral organizations etc. rather it will establish networks and develop synergies with them and supplement their efforts in a sustainable and focused manner.

ISA has launched three major programmes: Scaling Solar Applications for Agriculture Use, Affordable Finance at Scale, and Scaling Solar Mini-grids to help in achieving the overall goal of increasing solar energy deployment in the ISA member countries for achieving universal energy access and speeding up economic development. Further ISA is planning to launch two more programmes: Scaling Solar Rooftops and Scaling Solar E-mobility and Storage.

International Solar Alliance is the first body that will have a secretariat in India. India plays a significant role in the alliance in terms of being a host as well as a major contributor for achieving the target of 1 TW of solar energy by 2030 which would require $1 trillion to achieve with a target to produce 100 GW of solar energy by 2022, would account for a tenth of ISA’s goal.

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