The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) recently organized a three-part webinar series bringing together U.S. and India stakeholders from the public and private sectors to discuss key topics related to photovoltaic (PV) standards and conformity assessment issues. The technical exchange provided sectoral insights and best clean energy practices for Indian participants and identified investment opportunities for U.S. participants.
The series, "Virtual Workshop on Clean Energy: Advancing the Growth of Photovoltaic Development in India," focused on Indian PV clean energy development through the U.S.-India Standards and Conformance Cooperation Program, Phase 2 (SCCP II). Funded by the United States Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) and implemented with support from the Confederation of Indian Industry (CII) and the Bureau of Indian Standards (BIS), the event featured sessions on September 22, and 29, and October 6, 2020.
Photovoltaics is the direct conversion of light into electricity at the atomic level, known as the photovoltaic effect. According to the International Energy Association, solar PV generation increased 22 percent in 2019 and represented the second-largest absolute generation growth of all renewable technologies—slightly behind wind and ahead of hydropower. By 2022, India aims to produce 175 GW of its total energy through renewable sources, out of which 100 GW will be produced by solar energy. As of 2019, installed capacity for renewable energy accounts for 87 GW, which is 35.5% of the total installed power capacity. To bridge this gap, India needs to create and implement a robust system for safety, quality, and durability standards and specifications to facilitate adoption and efficiency of PV installations.
Each virtual session began with a combination of opening remarks from USTDA, the BIS, the U.S. Department of Commerce (DoC), and CII. The workshop addressed operational PV performance data to maximize PV investments—more specifically ensuring data quality through supervisory control and data acquisition (SCADA) design, assessing and optimizing PV plants, and increasing bifacial PV system revenue through data. Underwriters Laboratories (UL) served as the technical lead and moderated the sessions.
Speakers in session 2 discussed PV module and system durability and reliability. BIS provided an overview of their standardization process with emphasis on PV module standards. Speakers also gave U.S. and Indian perspectives on testing and ensuring the reliability of PV modules. They highlighted how standards improve system reliability, specifically the IEC System for Certification to Standards Relating to Equipment for Use in Renewable Energy Applications (IECRE System), which aims to facilitate international trade in equipment and services for use in Renewable Energy Sectors while maintaining the required level of safety.
The final workshop session speakers identified PV project challenges and opportunities for investment and cooperation in India and presented on aggressive bidding and low tariffs, innovation of PV design engineering and operation, and IEEE 154, the Distributed Energy Resource (DER) interconnection standards. Following the presentations, the session included a panel discussion of several PV and standard experts who discussed the IECRE System and the International Photovoltaic Quality Assurance Task Force (PVQAT), which leads global efforts to develop quality and reliability standards for solar energy technologies.
For further details, recordings, and presentations regarding the SCCP II program, please visit the U.S.-India SCCP II website.