• India will soon have a formal policy to test equipment used for renewable energy
  • Government sees need for a detailed set of norms to be put in place for standardized testing procedures and certifications
  • For solar PV equipment testing, there are currently three labs that offer testing services, one is government run, the other two are private
  • The draft policy proposes four components of a PV system that need testing - modules, inverters, batteries and water pumping systems

Soon India is expected to have a National Lab Policy For Renewable Energy. This will lay down guidelines and set norms for testing, standardization and certification of products related to renewable energy. The policy will also put in place the requirement for infrastructure needed for testing centres.

Indian business daily The Economic Times (ET) reports that a draft policy document is ready and that it is expected to be complete in a month’s time. The document reportedly identifies four components that need to be tested for a solar PV system. These are modules, inverters, batteries and water pumping systems.

Currently, India has three testing centres or laboratories to test solar PV equipment. Out of these only one is government run – the National Institute for Solar Energy (NISE) in Gurgaon, which also serves as the secretariat of the International Solar Alliance. The other two are private laboratories in Bengaluru, owned by Germany’s TUV Rhineland and US based UL, according to the ET report.

New renewable testing guidelines will be a welcome plan at this juncture as India goes ahead full steam to pursue its 100 GW of solar power capacity ambition by 2022 – and product quality is key to operate the projects for 20+ years. It will help a lot if the PV equipment used conforms to a set of technical standards that work for Indian climatic conditions. The report points out that the quality and reliability of installed PV systems sometimes show ‘more than the normal rate of degradations in several cases’.