Photo: Illustration (Courtesy of IECRE)

Belgium becomes full member of IEC for renewable energy

The Coastal Engineering Research Group of Ghent University and the Belgian Electrotechnical Committee (BEC) have completed the process to enroll Belgium as a full member of the International Electrotechnical Commission on Renewable Energy (IECRE).

Illustration (Courtesy of IECRE)
Illustration (Courtesy of IECRE)

With the new Belgian IECRE membership, supported by the Interreg 2 Seas ENCORE project, the Coastal Engineering Research Group of Ghent University and BEC have the objective to contribute to the development and implementation of international high quality certification schemes in the sectors of marine, wind and solar energy.

The main objective is to de-risk new technologies, facilitate export and increase attractiveness and confidence for investors.

For emerging industries such as those related to marine energy, a better communication and product assessment will be achieved in the supply chain by using a harmonized and uniform global certification system.

According to ENCORE, the Coastal Engineering Research Group of Ghent University will participate in the development of marine energy certification schemes and protocols for scale testing, by participating in different working groups of the IECRE, together with members France, Netherlands, UK, USA and Japan.

The Coastal Engineering Research Group of Ghent University is expected to benefit from IECRE’s international leading role in standardization of testing protocols and reports, certification and certified facilities for Renewable Energy Applications. The IECRE system will in turn make use of the university’s feedback in the creation of standards and protocols, in order to realize a globally accepted standardization system.

As part of the initiative, BEC will be able to broaden its service offer, while Belgian companies will get additional chances to express their interests in developing and applying high-quality protocols, thus facilitating market trade not only at national but also at European and international level.

“The enrolment of Belgium as a full member of the IECRE system will allow the emerging renewable energy sector (specifically marine, solar and wind) to participate in the development of related protocols and standards, creating excellent opportunities and mutual benefits for both BEC and Belgian companies”, ENCORE project stated.

IECRE is the IEC system for testing, inspection and certification to standards relating to equipment for use in renewable energy applications.

IECRE seeks to facilitate international trade in equipment and services in the renewable energy sector through the development of a single, global conformity assessment system.

This conformity assessment system strives for achieving acceptance of high-quality international standards by local and national authorities and other bodies requiring conformity to standards.

As part of IEC, a technical committee dubbed IEC TC-114 made up of international experts has been established with the aim of preparing international standards for marine energy conversion systems.

Prior to joining IECRE, Belgium was already a full member of IEC TC114, whose primary focus is put on conversion of wave, tidal and other water current energy into electrical energy, although other conversion methods, systems and products are included.