The Korean Agency for Technology and Standard of the Ministry of Knowledge Economy revealed that it additionally designated Korean Testing Certification (KTC) as a performance testing institution in the field of ‘crystalline solar module’ on February 13th, 2012.
The two institutions Korea Testing Laboratory (KTL) and Korea Institute of Energy Research (KIER) are carrying out tests as they were designated as ‘crystalline solar module’ performance testing institutions in June 2006 and September 2006 respectively. The Korea Energy Management Corporation and Renewable Energy Center were designated as certification institutions for entire items in the field of renewable energy and are carrying out their role. Currently, IECEE PV is active in the field of solar photovoltaics.
In 2008, the Korea Energy Management Corporation was designated as the National Certification Board (NCB) and KTL (for crystalline solar modules and solar cells) and KIER (for grid connection) were designated as Certified Testing Laboratory for 3 items including solar modules.
As of the end of 2011, the world solar PV market was US$25 billion and 23.2 GW and installation grew by 32% compared to that of 2010, of which Korea took about 7.3% (170 MW).
According to an energy-specialized research institution, the market is somewhat shrinking from the latter half of last year due to the excessive investment in facilities and lowering of polysilicon unit price but because of the increase in new markets in the U.S., India and China and progression of restructuring in major countries such as China, it is predicted that the solar PV market can turn around to a certain degree from the latter half of this year.
Since 2007, the number of certification of ‘crystalline solar module’ has been on upward trend to reach the total of 751, and it is predicted that the demand for certification would continuously increase following the recovery of the world solar PV market in the future.
The Korean Agency for Technology and Standard designated KTC as a ‘crystalline solar module’ performance testing institution in view of the fact that currently only two institutions KIER and KTL are monopolizing the testing and certification when certification demand for ‘crystalline solar module’ is growing compared to that of other renewable energy technologies; the equipment and labor force which KTC has are satisfying the requirements of appointment; and the demand for certification is expected to jump in the future; and enhancement of testing service through competition among institutions is necessary for the health of the nation’s PV industry.
KTC has invested its budget of 1.2 billion won in propelling the work of solar PV testing and inspection and established related facilities, labor force and organizations since 2010.
Director of Knowledge Industry Standard in Korean Agency for Technology and Standard, Seong Shi-heon, said, “We expect that with the additional appointment of KTC as a testing and certification institution, renewable energy companies will receive faster service and with the start of competition among testing institutions, the quality of testing and certification service will be enhanced.”
Meanwhile, within the first half of this year, the Ministry of Knowledge Economy is expected to announce measures for improving testing and certification service in the renewable energy industry after conducting a comprehensive evaluation of 1) the entire objects of certification spanning 26 categories across 7 renewable energy fields, 2) the current status of testing projects being carried out by testing institutions for each category and, 3) future demands for testing and certification.
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