To address the lack of quality certification in solar components which has become a common concern in the sector, the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy (MNRE) has issued a draft quality control order for solar thermal systems as per the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS) Act.
Any manufacturer, who sells or distributes solar thermal goods has to apply to register with the BIS for the use of its standard mark.
Companies cannot manufacture or store for the sale, import, distribution of goods which do not conform to the specified standards and do not have the standard mark as notified by the BIS. However, this will not apply to the manufacture of goods meant for export. It is odd that government agencies are not concerned about the quality of exported products
Substandard or defective goods will need to be disposed of as scrap by the manufacturer or the representative of the overseas manufacturer. The appropriate authority can check for the compliance of the order and seize goods if found infringing the order.
The MNRE will approve the series of products in case the goods have different sizes, ratings, varieties and need to be grouped. The order will come into force after one year from the date of its publication in the official gazette. This means the quality order will not be enforced for at least a year.
Mercom has written about how the lack of regulations for product quality certification, intense competition, and absence of requisite awareness have only emboldened the quality problem in India’s rooftop solar sector.
Recently, MNRE has issued a set of guidelines to be followed by solar manufacturers for models of modules to keep project quality in check for government-owned projects and those set up for the sale of electricity to the government.