The government will add modules and inverters to the list of imported products that must meet minimum standards. Charge controllers and batteries are already subject to such requirements.
February 17, 2021
The government of Bangladesh has decided to require the certification of imported solar systems Bangladesh Standard and Testing Institution (BSTI) with the move to include panels, inverters, charge controllers and batteries made abroad.
With Bangladesh After the Agency for Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development (SREDA) set the international standards that should apply to such products at the end of 2019, an inter-ministerial meeting last week stipulated that solar modules and inverter batteries and charge controllers should be on the list of enclosed restricted products should include the Bangladeshi import policy. Such items must meet the conditions set by the competent authorities in order to be imported.
SREDA certain solar modules should meet International standards of the Electrotechnical Commission IEC 61215: 2016, 60904-1: 2013, 60904-2: 2013 and 60904-9: 2013. It was decided that inverters comply with IEC 62109-1: 2016 and 62109-2: 2016, the charge controller IEC 62509: 2016 and the batteries should meet IEC 61427-1: 2016.
Solar manufacturers in Bangladesh have claimed that solar imports from China and India are sub-standard and they will not be able to compete on price and reduce public confidence in solar energy if they do not reach expected levels.
A senior BSTI official said SREDA has already approved the use of 17 Bangladesh Petroleum Corp. laboratories for testing and certification of solar products, and imports could also be audited by the EU Bangladesh Scientific and Industrial Research Council, Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology, and Private Sector Institutions.
Munawar Misbah Moin, President of the Association of Solar Panel Manufacturers in Bangladesh, said the move was long overdue. “We produce … solar systems according to the standard set by SREDA,” he said, adding that imports did not come with the same obligation. “The government should take the matter seriously to stop [the] Import cheap solar systems for the benefit of the local industry, ”said Moin pv magazine.
The nine domestic solar manufacturers in the country boast The annual module production capacity of 100 MW makes up around 20% of the local market and, according to Moin, can achieve power outputs of up to 320 W with efficiencies of up to 19.5%.
Dipal C Barua, president of the Bangladesh Solar and Renewable Energy Association, suggested that making solar product importers mandatory membership in his organization would help overcome quality fears associated with overseas equipment. He welcomed the move to enforce standards, but warning procedures should be put in place to prevent solar importers from suffering financial losses as a result of the formalities involved.
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