PM chairs meeting of Energy Coordination Committee

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New Delhi, Jun 27 (UNI) Against the backdrop of rising crude oil prices and concern over climate change and global warming, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh today said the Centre will soon set up a solar energy mission and promote the use of solar lanterns across the country.

The Prime Minister, who chaired a meeting of the Energy Coordination Committee to discuss proposals pertaining to the development of solar energy and other sources of renewable energy, underlined the importance of developing renewable energy in India.

Dr Singh authorised the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy to draft schemes and guidelines for the introduction of renewable energy certificates to encourage states to promote and trade in renewable energy. The Ministry was also asked to come forward with draft legislation for the promotion and accelerated growth of renewable energy sector.

Members concurred on the importance of replacing kerosene lanterns with solar lanterns both on account of India's import dependence on crude oil, the high fiscal subsidy for kerosene and the environmental benefits of solar energy over kerosene.

Dr Singh asked the Minister of New and Renewable Energy to come forward with a comprehensive action plan for new and renewable energy development in consultation with state governments. The meeting also decided that in rural areas grid connectivity should be explored for solar energy and the villages should have access to both conventional and non-conventional sources of energy.

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