IRENA Helps Countries to Implement Quality Control for Renewable Energy Technologies


New guidelines aim to improve quality of renewable energy systems

Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates, 1 December 2015 – The most up-to-date information on how to develop and implement quality control for renewable energy technologies is now available. A new series of reports released today by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) gives detailed information on how to develop quality infrastructure for small wind turbines and solar water heaters and provides guidelines for policy makers.

“With renewable energy technologies becoming competitive and globally traded, additional efforts are needed to protect markets from poor-quality products and services, which can seriously delay renewables deployment growth,” said Dolf Gielen, Director of IRENA´s Innovation and Technology Centre. “Therefore, it is of paramount importance to implement instruments to control the quality of renewable energy products and services, mitigate technical risk and build up market trust. Operationalising international technical standards via testing and certification can address risk and at the same time spur technological improvements.”

The report series, Quality Infrastructure for Renewable Energy Technologies, finds that implementing a quality infrastructure is dependent on the country context and the status of the market for a specific renewable energy technology. The reports provide detailed guidance for developing the quality infrastructure incrementally, hand-in-hand with local market development.

The report on Small Wind Turbines, for example, finds that the share of small wind turbines can increase ten-fold by 2030, providing electricity solutions to remote areas, integrating into mini-grid systems and even distribution grids. At present, small wind turbines only account for 0.7 GW of installed capacity due in part to the fact that products that do not meet minimum quality requirements are blocking the growth of small wind turbine markets.

The series provides detailed guidelines for two industry sectors – solar thermal energy for the building sector and wind power for rural and remote areas – and contain the most comprehensive, up-to-date information and are based on interviews with experts in renewable energy technologies, standards and testing.

The reports support IRENA’s work on renewable energy innovation, quality and collaboration, which includes a platform combining databases on renewable energy standards and patents. The INSPIRE platform helps users analyse various aspects of renewable energy policy and innovation and can be used to indicate the effectiveness of policies to promote renewable energy innovation through the analysis of trends in patent activity.

Read the Quality Infrastructure report series: