The need for certification
Third party certification of wind, solar photovoltaic (PV) and marine energy equipment and services to consensus-based international standards, supports manufacturers in the RE industry, by reducing risks, streamlining costs, as well as enhancing market access.
IECRE, the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications, covers three renewable energy (RE) sectors: marine, solar PV, and wind. The system was established in 2014 to address these issues, in a world with growing electricity demands, which at the same time, needs to reduce power generated by fossil fuels.
Instilling confidence in three RE sectors
The IECRE wind sector is fully operational with nine certification bodies and more currently being assessed for participation. It has 24 testing laboratories, authorized to conduct testing and certification of wind turbines, their components and/or wind “farms”. IECRE has issued 55 certificates for wind turbines, a significant increase from five a year ago. It is expected that the first certificate(s) for wind farms – or Project Certification will be issued in the remaining months of 2019.
The solar PV sector currently has seven certification bodies and eight inspection bodies operating and issued its first solar PV certificate in 2018. Thomas Sauer, IECRE Convenor of promotions and marketing and President and CEO of EXXERGY, has promoted IECRE certification at several international events in the US and Europe, highlighting that it covers the entire lifecycle of a PV power plant, from initial design aspects to annual inspections and ultimately asset transfer. With risk explained how the consistent implementation of international standards can reduce costs by streamlining processes and instil confidence in the industry.
The marine energy – operational management committee (ME OMC) has been focused on the first deliverables for certification bodies, including IEC Technical Specification 62600-2 which covers design requirements for marine energy systems. IEC Technical Committee 114, which develops international standards for marine energy, has initiated a new project team regarding technology qualification (62600-4) to address gaps in the available standards necessary to support certification, which have been identified by the ME-OMC. Further, IEC TC 114 has recently approved a new Technical Specification (62600-3) in relation to the measurement of mechanical loads of wave, tidal and other water current converters and work is ongoing to develop the associated operation document for the issuance of test reports against this standard. It is hoped the first renewable energy test laboratories will join the IECRE System this year and the first renewable energy test reports will be issued in 2020.
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