Boosting global PV markets: the role of quality infrastructure
As solar photovoltaic (PV) power systems become increasingly competitive, continued market growth depends on assurances of performance and durability. Quality assurance protects and accelerates future PV investments, lowers capital costs, improves performance, extends module lifespans and lowers the resulting electricity costs. From less than 10 gigawatts (GW) worldwide in 2006, installed solar PV capacity reached nearly 300 GW in 2016. More than 71 GW was added in 2016, with over USD 113 billion invested in solar energy technologies. However, comprehensive quality assurance requires physical and institutional infrastructure. This so-called, Quality Infrastructure (QI), comprises the total institutional network and legal framework that formulates and implements standards. It also includes testing, certification, metrology and accreditation. This handbook from the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) outlines the best practices to develop and implement QI for solar PV.