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Govt forms new policy for standardisation of renewable energy products

Livemint:  December 12, 2017

New Delhi: Aiming to address the quality issues in India’s rapidly growing renewable energy sector, the union ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) has come out with a new policy for “testing, standardisation and certification” of products in the renewable energy sector.

The policy also aims to develop standards for all renewable energy equipment in line with the international practices.

“Standards, testing and certification are key components that make significant impact on renewable energy technology development and deployment” and “though international standards are relied upon for quality assurance, they need to be harmonized to meet the performance requirements in local climatic conditions and life of the product,” the policy said.

It stressed that a “concrete action plan for standards, testing and performance certification is essential for the successful growth of renewable energy in the country”.

The move is significant as India has an ambitious target of 175,000 megawatt (MW) of renewable power by 2022. India, at present, has an installed capacity of 60,157 MW renewable power and a rapid development is expected in the next five years. Thus, a system to ensure quality of products holds huge importance.

The policy further said that procedures are needed, “in order to ensure the quality and reliability of components manufactured indigenously and also to ensure reliability and quality of the imported equipment, components and sub systems, it is necessary to establish a quality infrastructure in terms of standards/specifications, test laboratories, referral institutes mechanism for review, monitoring and inspection of the same”.

The concerns of the government are not ill-founded as voices have been raised about poor quality Chinese solar modules— rejected by developers—being sold in the Indian market at a discount.

The policy aims to adopt, update and develop standards of all renewable energy systems, components and devices in line with international practices and making performance certification mandatory to ensure quality and reliability in renewable energy supply in the country.

“Imported systems and components will also be tested in test labs for their efficiency, reliability, life and performance in Indian climatic conditions, though these components could have been certified by the testing agencies in the countries of their origin as per the international standards,” it added.

Apart from this, the policy said the MNRE institutions will be strengthened for research and development and for testing, standardization and certification in the respective areas to make them global centres of excellence in new and renewable energy.

The government believes this policy will encourage manufacturers to ensure quality of products produced and supplied in the field as per test reports “ensuring confidence in users for desired performance during the design life time of the product”.

The policy also mandates periodic testing by the accredited test labs to measure and document degradation of the performance of a particular product.

Under the policy, a Standards, Test and Quality Control Committee (STQCC) for the entire renewable energy sector will be set up in MNRE”. Secretary of MNRE will be the chairman of the committee which will oversee and coordinate the development of standards, protocols, performance testing and certification practices for renewable energy systems.

Disclaimer: This information has been collected through secondary research and IBEF is not responsible for any errors in the same.