According to reports, the Manipur Renewable Energy Development Agency has set a target of installing solar heaters in 3,340 houses in the state in an effort to conserve energy and reduce pollution.
“We have installed solar heaters in 800 houses so far and the remaining will be installed in the next couple of years. The appliance saves a lot of energy and reduces air pollution,” agency director L. Manglem Singh said.
The installations started in September last year and have since become quite popular.
Officials of the agency today inspected the solar heaters already installed in and around this city to check whether the appliances had been properly installed and were being used in the right way.
The water heaters, which are brought from Hyderabad, are being sold to beneficiaries at a subsidised rate, with the Centre, the North Eastern Council and the state government contributing to the project.
Manipur requires about 180MW power during peak hours. However, the government is able to provide even less than half of the total requirement.
The heaters have been a boon for the owners during the winter. “It saves a lot of cooking gas and energy as we use hot water from thesolar heater for cooking and washing. It is also environment-friendly. It has reduced our electric bill considerably,” R.K. Ranjan Singh, a retired Manipur University official, said. Manglem Singh said once the target of 3,340 installations was achieved, the appliances would save 3.5MW power daily and prevent emission of 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year.
He, however, added that bringing the equipment from Hyderabad to Imphal was difficult in view of the frequent blockades and strikes and the bad condition of roads in Manipur. The agency took up the project after supplying electricity by using wind and solar energy to more than 200 villages in the remote areas of the hill districts, where conventional electrification was not possible because of the hilly terrain.