One of the challenges for the deployment of renewables is the perceived technical risk, particularly in markets with limited experience using renewable energy technologies. Investors might be deterred if the reliability of these technologies is in question. Operationalising quality assurance and international technical standards via testing and certification can address this risk and at the same time spur technological improvements. Furthermore, internationally harmonised standards enable global transfer and trading of renewable energy technologies.
Quality assurance (QA) consists of all activities which provide confidence that a product or service will meet the expectations from consumers, investors and other stakeholders. QA builds up on standards intended to ensure that products and services perform as expected, as well as on the mechanisms to verify that such requirements are fulfilled, such as testing, certification and inspection.
In the context of renewables, quality assurance enables quality control for renewable energy products and services, helping to mitigate technical risks and build up market trust to scaling up its deployment.
In order to implement quality assurance mechanisms, it is required to establish first an institutional infrastructure known as Quality Infrastructure (QI). A national QI on renewable energy encompasses different elements closely interrelated, including: accreditation, certification, standards, testing, inspection, metrology, and quality management systems.