Distributed Solar Quality and Safety in India: Key Challenges and Potential Solutions

Arvind Karandikar, Ingrid Repins, Alexandra Aznar, Carishma Gokhale-Welch, Ronnie Khanna, Devina Anand

Research output: NRELTechnical Report


The quality and safety of solar systems and their installation has become a concern for investors, regulators, consumers, and Discoms in India. The push for low prices and lack of quality standards are driving project developers to install low quality products, with poor system design and execution on-site. Existing literature and stakeholder interviews point to the rampant use of low quality, sub-standard solar products in India. These products deliver less energy than expected, or have high detrition rates, or have lower product life-- all of which are serious issues for developers whose return on investment depend on the amount of power generation from these solar systems for the expected life of the project. Equipment which does not conform to the minimum quality standards also creates safety risks for the distribution network. Performance and safety concerns lower investor and consumer confidence in solar products with the potential to threaten market development. This report formulates a set of recommendations to concerned authorities in India to improve the quality and safety of rooftop solar systems. Primary and secondary sources are employed to understand the current solar quality and safety scenario in India to provide the basis for future recommendations. An overview of international experiences and lessons learned on solar quality and safety issues is also conducted to understand potential solutions for India.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages75
StatePublished - 2020

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/TP-7A40-74833


  • distributed PV
  • India
  • PV
  • quality
  • safety
  • solar


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