As part of the Jawaharlal Nehru National Solar Mission, the Union government would come out with a guideline by May 15 to establish the country as a global leader in solar energy, Union Minister for New and Renewable Energy Farooq Abdullah said here on Thursday.

The guideline, which would cover tail-end projects and power grids, would enable entrepreneurs to set up small plants. The draft regulation was posted on the Ministry's website some months ago, and discussions were held with different stakeholders, he said.

The Minister was delivering the inaugural address at a conference on “mainstreaming green energy-wind, biomass and solar,” organised here by the Assocham and the Madras Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

“Keep your mind open to new technologies. Go for better technology and not cheap ones. You can import the equipment. But in the long term, we want more indigenisation of products to bring down the cost and increase the use of solar energy. If you are ready to offer the service, we are ready to help the industry,” he said.

To minimise the use of diesel in energy production, the Ministry would explore ways to light up the borders through wind mills and solar panels. “It is a tragedy for us, as we use huge quantities of diesel to produce energy. Around Rs.1,200 crore is spent on diesel every year for generation of power in Ladakh. It is proposed to set up solar, small hydro and micro power projects in the Ladakh region of Jammu and Kashmir at a cost of Rs.500 crore. Similarly, steps will be taken to minimise the use of diesel in the Lakshadweep and Andaman and Nicobar islands.”

Dr. Abdullah asked industrialists to find a way to transport wind mill equipment to far-flung areas, increase the mast height to 100 metres for better results and get the help of researchers. An international conference on renewable energy would be held in New Delhi from October 27 to 29.

Pointing out that there was a constant battle between industry and Forest Department officials over the setting up of windmills, he said he would hold talks with Union Environment Minister Jairam Ramesh to ensure that the barriers were removed.

Deepak Gupta, Secretary, Union Ministry of New and Renewable Energy, said power deficiency could be solved if people opted for solar power on their premises.

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