The Critical Role of International Standards and Certification for the Marine Energy Industry: Paper No. OTC-29341-MS

Walter Musial, Jonathan Colby, Paul Staby

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


In 2007 the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) initiated Technical Committee (TC) IEC/TC 114 to develop standards for marine energy converters including wave, tidal and other water current converters. Following the inaugural plenary meeting in 2008, the first IEC/TC 114 Technical Specification (TS), Terminology, was published in 2011 and significant work on the development of other TSs is ongoing. Initial conformity assessment activities began in 2011 and the Marine Energy Operational Management Committee (ME-OMC) of the IEC Renewable Energy (IECRE) System was established in 2014. An update on the status of international, consensus-based, marine energy standards and certification deliverables will be provided, including the development of Renewable Energy Test Reports (RETRs) under the IECRE. Currently, IEC/TC 114 has fourteen participating member (P-Member) countries and thirteen observer member (O-Member) countries. Nine Project Teams (PTs), two Ad-hoc Groups (AHGs), and seven Maintenance Teams (MTs) are engaged in writing new TSs, assessing information on TS applications and preparing the published TSs for release of 2nd Editions. To date, IEC/TC 114 has published ten TSs covering subjects including wave and tidal energy converter performance assessment and wave and tidal resource assessment. Additional TSs are expected to be published in 2019 covering river and ocean thermal energy converters and resources, among others. TSs developed by IEC/TC 114 and applied by the industry are essential to reduce risk and increase confidence in marine energy systems. These TSs serve as the fundamental underpinnings of international, 3rd party conformity assessment systems, such as the IECRE. The IECRE is currently comprised of fifteen Member Bodies and operates three Sectors: Marine Energy (ME), Solar Photovoltaic (PV) and Wind Energy (WE). The IECRE ME sector has reached a critical milestone in the development of 3rd party conformity assessment deliverables for the marine energy industry. With the approval of IECRE 03 Ed. 2 and OD 300-200 Ed. 1, the ME Sector established a mechanism for the acceptance of Renewable Energy Test Laboratories (RETLs) with a scope in the IEC TS 62600-200 (Power Performance Assessment of Electricity Producing Tidal Energy Converters). A three-year transition period for test laboratory self- assessment based on ISO/IEC 17025 accreditation has been implemented to encourage RETL participation in the ME Sector. A detailed review of IEC/TC 114 and ME-OMC activities is provided and the critical connection between the development and implementation of international standards, and the associated conformity assessment rules and procedures, and the continued growth and commercial success of the marine energy industry is highlighted and examined. Emphasis is given to the role standards and certification play in risk reduction, improved quality and reliability, and increased confidence for the entire range of industry stakeholders.
Original languageAmerican English
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2019
EventOffshore Technology Conference - Houston, Texas
Duration: 6 May 20199 May 2019


ConferenceOffshore Technology Conference
CityHouston, Texas

NREL Publication Number

  • NREL/CP-5000-73263


  • certification
  • marine renewable energy
  • risk reduction
  • standards


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