India Focuses on Safety as Country
Rapidly Expands Solar Capacity
India’s Prime Minister Narendra
Modi wants to increase solar capacity to 100 gigawatts (GW) by 2022, a
lofty initiative as the country’s total
installed solar capacity only stands
at 5. 8 GW today.
To meet this goal, the government
is encouraging the development of
utility-scale, grid-connected solar
parks, and new solar power capacity additions to rooftops, canal tops
and river banks across the country. With one of the fastest-grow-ing electric markets in the world,
India’s Central Electricity Regulatory Commission (CERC) is addressing
grid inadequacies through supportive regulations to increase transmission capacity and bring more renewable energy onto the grid.
Not only will this 100 GW initiative provide solar-powered street
lights to remote locations, it will
provide necessary energy via residential solar to more than 300 million people that currently live off
the grid. Moreover, it is expected
to help eliminate excess pollution
from agricultural processes because
farms will be able to run irrigation
pumps with solar power instead of
To meet this ambitious goal,
ensure manufacturer compliance,
and provide consumer safety, the
Ministry of New and Renewable
Energy (MNRE) in consultation with
the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS)
has recently published a draft com-
pulsory registration order for man-
datory regulation of all solar PV sys-
tems, devices and component goods.
And given that MNRE is mandating a regulation, UL is best placed
to help customers meet the requirements of this regulation and enable
access to the India PV market.
According to the registration
scheme, all solar products are to be
tested for safety and performance
using applicable standards in a local
lab in India. Only qualified labs such
as UL’s Bangalore testing facility will
be able to provide testing and certification of PV modules.
No person, manufacturer or store
will be able to create, sell or import
goods which do not conform to the
scheme or bear the standardized
Mark; and manufacturers of solar
PV products will have to fast-track
compliance to adhere to the BIS registration scheme once it is officially
mandated by the government.
To help ensure authenticity of the
Mark, BIS will require that all products tested under the scheme obtain
a unique registration number, similar to how the UL Mark is processed. Each product will then be
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