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Solar in Middle East: Abu Dhabi ushers in new solar certification for homes and businesses

Solar in Middle East: Abu Dhabi ushers in new solar certification for homes and businesses

Abu Dhabi has launched a solar certification scheme to ensure regulatory standards for small scale units are met as the emirate gears up for more residential installations.

The Abu Dhabi Quality and Conformity Council (QCC) has created an assessment scheme for suppliers and manufacturers of solar photovoltaic (PV) systems to meet the requirements created by the Regulatory and Supervision Bureau (RSB), announced earlier this year.

“With the development of a certification scheme dedicated to solar PV systems, the QCC is responding to the industry’s need by identifying the key specifications of products, aligning international testing and control standards, and connecting the market’s stakeholders with the authorities’ requirements,” said Abdullah Al Muaini, the QCC’s executive director of conformity scheme services.

The certification scheme was developed to support Abu Dhabi’s economic diversification strategy and its ambition to become a global leader in the manufacturing of quality, sustainable products, according to Mr Al Muaini.

To obtain the certification, solar modules, inverters and system ancillaries (such as DC cables) must undergo various tests such as assessing the functionality of solar panels in a harsh desert environment, including degradation from salt corrosion, which can occur in coastal areas.

Suppliers, manufacturers and distributors can apply for the environmental performance trustmark via QCC’s online portal Jawda, which is visible on approved products. And while applying for this certification is currently voluntary, it could help to expedite required approval from the RSB for installations, according to the QCC.

Ali Al Mashjari, the RSB’s dir­ector of production and electricity services, said the regulatory framework already in place has been designed to promote the widespread expansion of solar power at homes and buildings throughout the emirate.

The QCC certification also provides some reassurance for consumers when purchasing this type of system. It mandates that the installation has to be performed by a licensed contractor as well as that a product factsheet and warranty policy be included for consumers.

“The scheme will ensure the highest quality standards and adherence of manufacturers and suppliers of small-scale solar PV systems to the requirements of the conformity certificate,” Mr Al Mashjari said. “This will encourage more homeowners and companies to adopt PV systems to meet part of their energy needs.”​

SOURCE: The National