Experts at a dialogue have emphasised ensuring the quality of rooftop solar equipment.
The dialogue was organized by Business Initiative Leading Development (BUILD) with support from IFC's Partnership for Cleaner Textile (PaCT) project.
Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) is working with other government institutions as well as the private sector to upgrade the country's testing, certification and quality compliance regime in the area of rooftop solar power, said Dr Md Nazrul Anwar, Director General of BSTI.
He informed 69 new labs are going to be established of which 21 for physical testing targeting 2041.
He added, there are 229 products for which compulsory certification is required.
He mentioned that BSTI has already introduced the Bangladesh Standards (BDS) for four key equipment of rooftop solar power and has made it compulsory to get certification from BSTI for sale or marketing of these products.
Ferdaus Ara Begum, Chief Executive Officer of BUILD welcomed the audience and thanked BSTI for their reforms. She stressed that for complying with the emerging challenges and upcoming targets for the renewable energy sector, the quality and regulatory issues must be addressed for rooftop solar plants. It would for example be important to get the manufacturers, importers and businesses involved in rooftop solar equipment supply registered with a relevant government agency such as the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority (SREDA).
In a presentation on quality management issues in rooftop solar power, Md Tahmid Zami, Additional Research Director (ARD) of BUILD mentioned that the existing laboratories that test rooftop solar equipment often lack the technology and capacity for testing certain components, especially the ones that have higher capacity.
Rashedul Alam, Assistant Director at SREDA mentioned that SREDA has been closely working with BSTI to ensure standards for the rooftop solar equipment.
Data Magfur, General Secretary of Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association (BSREA) and owner of Data Enterprise Ltd mentioned that the low-quality equipment for rooftop solar is often entering the market, which negatively affects good manufacturers and importers.
Mohin Habib, CEO of Rahimafrooz Renewable Energy Ltd. (RREL) mentioned that Rahimafrooz is the Bangladeshi manufacturer that produces solar panels. He stressed on reducing the lead time for testing of the equipment. Tapas from Youngone mentioned that net metering is not allowed for factories in BEPZA, which needs attention from the government.
Mobinul Islam, AD and Mohammad Arafat, AD BSTI clarified some of the recent progress achieved in upgrading BSTI's capacity as well as future way forward.
Representatives from International Finance Corporation (IFC), Omera Solar, Sherpa Power Engineering Ltd, Sungrow, Solar EPC Development Ltd and so on also joined the meeting.