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ICPCI initiative to train solar water heater installers makes progress

According to reports, the initiative of the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) and the International Copper Promotion Council, India (ICPCI) is making progress with the training module expected to create 1,000 certified installers of solar water heating systems across India by the end of the year, according to CEO of ICPCI, Sanjeev Ranjan.

The shortage of trained installers of solar water heating systems was a hurdle in the expansion of markets for solar water heating systems and to overcome this hurdle, the ICPCI had approached Industrial Training Institutes (ITI) across the country to start training mudules to create the required manpower. In 2011, three pilot programmes saw 71 students of ITIs Pune, Bangalore and Gurgaon being trained as installers.

This year, the aim of the first phase of the initiative was to train ITI instructors, who in turn would train students. In Phase I of the programme, three train-the-trainer modules were held in Bangalore, Pune and Delhi and the fourth this month in Kolkata. The programme envisages training 76 instructors of 51 institutes covering 16 states. The second phase of the programme will see these instructors training 1,000 students of these institutes, thereby creating the installers and opening up employment opportunities.

The training programme involves classroom sessions and visits to manufacturing premises as well as sites where solar heaters have been installed. The initiative will conclude in September 2012.

Ranjan said, “This joint effort of the ICPCI and MNRE will create a sustainable market for solar water heating systems. The train-the-trainer module will produce 1,000 certified installers by the end of the year to carry out installation of equipment and their maintenance. Solar water heating systems will soon form part of the ITI curriculum and we have manuals prepared the manual.”

Tarun Kapoor, Joint Secretary, National Project Director, MNRE said, “We strongly believe that the solar water heating systems market will soon witness a tremendous change. This initiative of the ICPCI to create a sustained education model is commendable.”

The move to introduce the training comes close on the heels of the Bureau of Energy Efficency (BEE) introducing star ratings of water heatersto save energy consumption.

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