MNRE Issues Policy for Renewable Energy Testing and Certification

The Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a new National Lab Policy (NLP) to improve the quality and reliability of renewable energy projects in India. The policy, released last Thursday, aims to create a robust and efficient system of testing, standardization, and certification for the renewable energy sector.

According to MNRE, India’s goal of reaching 175 GW of renewable energy by 2022 has made it necessary to develop and update the standards for various renewable energy systems and their related components and set up performance testing and certification facilities to ensure their quality.

MNRE has already created several autonomous institutions like the National Institute of Solar Energy (NISE), the National Institute of Wind Energy (NIWE), the Alternate Hydro Power Energy Centre (AHEC), the Sardar Swaran Singh National Institute of Bio-energy (SSS-NIBE), and other test centers for solar, thermal, and biogas.

But, considering the current target of 175 GW, these institutions will not be enough to ensure the quality of products utilized, thus creating the need for a policy to develop labs across the country in a planned manner.

In November, the MNRE declared that its “Solar Photovoltaics/Systems/Devices/Components Goods (Requirements for Compulsory Registration) Order, 2017” is scheduled to become effective on January 1, 2018. This was the first step toward ensuring the quality of renewable energy projects, especially, solar and wind.

Two German companies have recently committed to invest in India.

TUV Rheinland India was expanding its Indian footprint with the opening of a €2.5 million (~₹192.6 million) facility in Bangalore to test solar PV and other technologies and last month the Photovoltaik-Institut Berlin (PI Berlin) created an Indian subsidiary in New Delhi that will enable it to provide services to the Indian market from a local base of operations.