Rooftop Solar PV Quality and Safety in Developing Countries — Key Issues and Potential Solutions

To scale solar PV deployment in developing countries, the technology must be safe and reliable, meeting both customer and utility expectations. This fact sheet provides a look into common solar PV safety and quality issues, ways to tackle these issues, and a potential solution.

Because PV systems are novel and complex, most consumers unable to distinguish between low- and high-quality systems and may invest based on price alone. Suboptimal PV system performance and safety incidents can have downstream impacts on customer adoption and the solar industry because of unmet expectations and negative publicity. Rooftop solar system components vary in quality, and inadequate training for installers can lead to poor practices.

In addition to digging deeper into these issues, this fact sheet provides a case study from India, where NREL and USAID identified key solar PV safety and quality issues in the country through a comprehensive stakeholder engagement process, which included engineering, procurement, and construction companies, installers, developers, component manufacturers, authorities, financiers, and consultants. This aided in the formulating a potential solution of a vendor rating framework (VRF).

Click below to read the fact sheet, or the full report that dives deeper into the challenges in India:

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