A new international certification scheme for small scale renewable energy has been proposed by prominent UK solar industry players. The International Renewable Energy Certification Organisation (IRECO) was introduced to energy ministers who attended the Clean Energy Ministerial last week in London.

IRECO was set up to help fulfil the requirement of a global certification scheme that would ensure new microgeneration and renewable energy industries adhere to appropriate standards and quality assurance. The directors of IRECO, Reza Shaybani and Gideon Richards have drawn on their vast experience of the renewables market to help draw up IRECO.  

The directors believe that as countries increasingly focus on transitioning to a greener economy, accreditation is a vital step to ensuring new microgeneration and renewable energy industries are founded on appropriate standards and quality assurance. The directors view certification as essential to engendering consumer confidence in new markets by demonstrating that certified companies are committed to meeting consistent standards. IRECO will also benefit governments wishing to introduce incentive mechanisms (such as the FiT) to the renewable energy industry as certification is particularly important for ensuring subsidies are only invested in high quality products and services.

Greg Barker has already spoken of his desire to see the development of a consistent single internationally recognised certification scheme, and IRECO hopes to fill this void. The proposed scheme holds the lofty ambition of becoming the leading provider of quality assurance certification and knowledge transfer on the global renewable energy market. It hopes to do this by implementing the existing Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS) framework. As with the MCS, IRECO will certify both products and installers through a small incremental per installation fee and license fee for registered products and installer companies, which will vary for developing countries, products and installation companies.

Another benefit of the scheme would be that, due to the registration process, the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) and other stakeholders would be able to better analyse the uptake of renewable energy technologies.

Currently, South Africa, Kenya, South Korea, Morocco, Algeria, Tunisia, India, Saudi Arabia, UAE and Qatar have shown an interest in joining IRECO.