• The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has proposed to set up a ‘National Lab Policy For Renewable Energy Sector’
  • The draft of the proposed policy looks to setting up a standardization, testing and quality certification (STQC) group in each of the three MNRE institutions with one central STQC group at MNRE
  • All PV products whether locally sources or imported would have to get a clearance from an accredited lab set up as part of the policy

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) in India has released a draft version of the National Lab Policy for Renewable Energy Sector for Testing, Standardization and Certification. It has now invited comments on the same from general public and other stakeholders.

India is targeting 175 GW of installed renewable energy capacity by 2022, out of which 100 GW will come from solar power alone. In the view of this, the government realized the need to have a standardization and renewable energy equipment testing in place, hence the draft policy.

The policy suggests that the test labs should include all facilities and appropriate calibration certificates for each of the products used during testing.

The draft policy proposes setting up a Standardization, Testing and Quality Certification (STQC) group in each of the three MNRE institutions. These groups will coordinate and oversee the development of standards in respective areas and update them as and when required. It also stipulates setting up expert committees and central STQC groups at MNRE.

In the field of PV, India currently has three testing centres or laboratories to test solar PV equipment – one is government-run National Institute for Solar Energy (NISE), the other two are private labs, operated by Germany’s TUV Rheinland India and by US-headquartered UL India Laboratories Pvt. Ltd., both located in Bengaluru (see National RES Lab Policy In India). It was when MNRE Secretary Upendra Tripathy visited these private labs that he was inspired of having a policy framework in place.

For PV, all products right from modules and inverters to batteries and water pumping systems would require to undergo testing procedure for their quality. This not only includes locally sourced equipment but also imported components and subsystems to be used.

The policy was formulated by a committee appointed in September 2015 under the chairmanship of Vikram Kumar, the former director of the National Physical Laboratory (NPL), Delhi, who is currently the Emeritus Professor of Centre for Applied Research in Electronics (CARE) at the Indian Institute of Technology (IIT) Delhi.

The government has invited comments from general public and other stakeholders until October 6, 2016.

The detailed draft policy can be accessed here.