Vietnam – Germany cooperation on standards, metrology and quality to promote sustainable enery development
Within the framework of the German Government’s ODA project for Viet Nam on “Promoting quality assurance seWithin the framework of the German Government’s ODA project for Viet Nam on “Promoting quality assurance services for sustainable energy” between the Directorate for Standards, Metrology and Quality (STAMEQ) under the Ministry of Science and Technology and German Metrology Institute (Physikalisch-Technische Bundesanstalt, PTB), the Vietnamese delegation led by Mr. Le Xuan Dinh, Deputy Minister of Science and Technology along with representatives of STAMEQ, made a visit and worked with relevant agencies in Germany and Switzerland to learn about national quality infrastructure for sustainable energy.
The delegation worked with policy, metrology and testing agencies such as German Standards Institute (DIN), German Metrology Institute (PTB), the Photovoltaic Institute Berlin (PI Berlin), International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
In Europe, Germany is currently one of the leading countries that committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions and using clean and renewable energy. To achieve this goal, the German Government has developed many programs such as the 2030 Climate Action Program and the Climate Action Act (Klimaschutzgesetz), the National Hydrogen Strategy. Germany is determined to completely eliminate coal-fired power by 2038. The German government emphasized that accelerating the transition to clean energy will create great opportunities for the country.
With its Climate Action Agenda 2030, Germany promotes the use of renewable energy, energy-efficient buildings and alternative propulsion technology in the transport sector and sets a target of reducing emissions by 55% of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 by 2030, while simultaneously phasing out the use of coal for electricity production. In 2019, about 43% of electric power was generated from renewable sources including wind and solar power – thanks to strong state support. The power grid is being developed to ensure green energy can be used nationwide. By 2030, renewable energy will account for 65% of total electricity consumption. Before 2050, all electricity generation and consumption must be greenhouse gas neutral.
New energy sources such as hydrogen energy, wind energy, and solar energy are strongly promoted. A roadmap for standardization of the hydrogen energy industry has also been developed.
Germany’s National Quality Infrastructure (NQI) in the field of photovoltaics is built on the basis of policies, regulations, metrology and calibration agencies and a system of conformity assessment organizations such as testing and inspection in the field of photovoltaics…
The representative of the Ministry of Economy and Climate Action of the Federal Republic of Germany (BMWK) shared with the delegation that the Photovoltaic Strategy issued on May 5, 2023, referred to as “PV Strategy” for short, proposes future management measures to promote the expansion of PV in Germany to support the achievement of the target of greenhouse gas neutrality by 2045. The PV strategy identifies 11 action areas and proposes further measures to accelerate expansion in the photovoltaic sector in Germany.
On that basis, DIN has also implemented activities to implement the climate action plan including: establishing an action group, conducting domestic and international exchanges, in parallel with the ISO and the European Committee for Standardization (CEN), propose and implement DIN climate projects such as tool development, workshops and cooperation with stakeholders.
The strong development of energy also poses many challenges related to management activities and quality assurance of PV panels.
The foundation of this activity is quality assurance through metrology. At the German Metrology Institute (PTB), the representative of the Board of Directors of the PTB shared with the delegation about the 135-year development history of the PTB, emphasizing that PTB’s efforts have gradually changed the assessment of German Government on the role of metrology to create confidence in metrology in production and business activities. For a developed industrial country like Germany, metrology activities play an extremely important role. With a rate of 60% invested in research activities (mainly budget investment from the German Government), the PTB is constantly developing and growing. The Institute has researched and manufactured advanced equipment, including equipment for calibrating indoor and outdoor photovoltaic panels.
In addition to quality assurance activities through metrology, testing and quality assessment services of photovoltaic devices and photovoltaic plants are also developed. Photovoltaic Institute Berlin (PI Berlin) is a leading technical advisor, risk manager and quality assurance provider for photovoltaic plants and photovoltaic equipment. The Institute has a team of experienced researchers, scientists and engineers to provide a variety of design, testing and evaluation services, focusing on risk management and quality assurance of photovoltaic devices and complex photovoltaic plants. The institute has an IEC 17025 accredited testing laboratory in Berlin to evaluate the performance, reliability and durability of solar modules. PI Berlin has another testing laboratory located in Suzhou, China.
With the encouragement of solar power development, many German cities have oriented towards sustainable energy development, encouraging the promotion of projects using photovoltaic batteries and rooftop electricity on the roofs of households and balconies, providing abundant and local power. The ancient city of Freiburg is located in the southwest corner of the Federal Republic of Germany, bordering with France and Switzerland, where the delegation visited is known as the “city of solar energy”, due to its many electricity production systems from solar energy buildings, businesses, industries, academic headquarters, even churches and stadiums are covered with solar panels to provide renewable electricity. The city government encourages through financing projects and encouraging investment in solar energy projects. Environmental activists also actively participate in this activity through programs introducing household rooftop solar projects to small households and mobilizing people to support these measures to protect the environment and promote green activities in the city.
In order to better understand current policies in Germany, the delegation spent a considerable amount of time discussing with the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) and the International Organization for Standardization (ISO).
IEC has published many foresight papers in many fields, including the paper on Carbon-neutral energy systems mainly based on renewable energy. The publication emphasizes the role of standards as necessary to ensure interoperability, maintain minimum levels of performance and safety, and help guide the transition to new technologies and operating module. IEC TC 82 is currently focusing on developing standards for solar photovoltaic energy systems to meet those requirements.
At the working session with ISO, ISO highly appreciated Vietnam’s role in actively participating in the Developing Countries Affairs Committee (DEVCO) in September 2023 in Brisbane, Australia and ISO’s activities in recent years. Aiming towards the 17 sustainable development goals of the United Nations, ISO has developed standards related to energy and climate change response. ISO also recommends that Vietnam join ISO TC 180 on Solar Energy as a full member (P member).
Through exchanges and discussions with the above agencies, the delegation learned more about Germany’s quality infrastructure in the field of photovoltaics as well as development trends and standards building around the world in this field, which will helps to more clearly define the content of cooperation with Germany in the coming time and strengthen Vietnam’s quality infrastructure in the field of photovoltaics.
Vũ Thị Tú Quyên – Internation Cooperation Department