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Pan American Standards Commission

Latin America on Its Way to Solar Thermal Quality Standards

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on August 31, 2015
Costa Rica WorkshopBrazil is going to implement compulsory certification of solar water heating (SWH) equipment in 2015. Uruguay, Argentina, Chile and Mexico already have laboratories for testing, and Costa Rica has recently set up one. Latin America is working through the regional Pan American Standards Commission, COPANT, on regional standards for SWHs, with the aim of harmonising them with ISO standards. The region is not yet considering a common regional testing and certification scheme, but there is a growing consciousness of the fact that testing and certification performance, as well as quality is very important to developing the SWH markets of the region. It is the reason why 50 experts from 14 countries have recently discussed how to accelerate the process: The Regional Forum (from 29 to 30 June 2015) was jointly organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the project “Quality Infrastructure for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency in Latin America and the Caribbean (LAC)” coordinated by the National Metrology Institute of Germany, PTB, the Latin American Energy Organization, OLADE, the Electricity Institute of Costa Rica, ICE, and the National Standards Body of Costa Rica, INTECO. All presentations are available for download on the IRENA website.
Photo: IRENA
 

COPANT: One Common Standard - Better than 31 Different Ones?

Submitted by Baerbel Epp on November 6, 2013

To date, solar thermal energy has been a largely unregulated technology in Latin America. Most of the countries in the region are suffering from nationalised, uncoordinated and sometimes insufficient quality standards. This lack of agreement is hindering the development of a shared and mature market. The regional Pan American Standards Commission, COPANT, is now working to address the issue by creating a unified regional standard and certification scheme for solar thermal components and systems. Although it is believed that a common standard and certification could ease current trade barriers, some market players think that, depending on the kind of regulation, it could create further obstacles to trade and technology exchange.

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