TIMBER LEGALITY AND OFF-GRID SOLAR STANDARDS
|Honourable SOROI EOE
Acting Minister for Commerce and Industry
|Mr VICTOR GABI
The Papua New Guinea National Institute of Standards and Industrial Technology (NISIT) through the National Gazette No. G304 published two Technical Standards for Off-Grid Solar Standard and a Timber Legality Standard on April 27th, 2023.
As the Minister for Commerce and Industry, it gives me great pleasure to announce the endorsed publication of the three (3) key Standards that will impact two (2) significant sectors of the economy - the Renewable Energy and Forestry sectors.
The two Off-Grid Solar Standards and the Timber Legality Standard are known as:
- PNGS/IEC TS 62257-9-5:2022
- PNGS/IEC TS 62257-9-8:2022
- PNGS 1712:2021 Papua New Guinea Timber Legality Requirements – Promoting Forest Law Compliance in Papua New Guinea
Impacts in the Renewable Energy Sector
NISIT took an important step in improving access to power by adopting the International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) worldwide Standards. These criteria will ensure that off- grid energy solutions are safe, reliable, and long-term for the people.Having access to energy is important for economic growth and social development of the country. However, many people live in remote areas where access to power from the national grid is limited or non-existent. Off-grid options, such as pico solar products and solar home system kits with a power rating of 350W or less, are critical to meeting this challenge.On March 23rd, 2022, NISIT’s Electrical and Renewable Energy Standards Sub Committee voted for the off-grid standards to be adopted as PNG National Standards.Officials from the Department of Commerce and Industry, PNG University of Technology, University of Papua New Guinea, PNG Power Ltd, PNG National Energy Authority, PNG Customs, Independent Consumer and Competition Commission, and Trade Electrical Ltd were on the committee.A team representing World Bank was also on the committee as observers.The committee had the opportunity of having the presence of Dr Arne Jacobson, a Professor on Environment Resources Engineering from the Schatz Energy Research Centre, Humboldt State University, USA and a Co-Chair of the Joint Working Group 1 of the International Electrotechnical Commission Technical Committee 82 on Photovoltaics.The IEC standards adopted are PNGS / IEC TS 62257-9-5 on test methods for renewable energy and hybrid systems for rural electrification and PNG / IEC TS 62257-9-8 on quality standards for renewable energy and hybrid systems for rural electrification.
The adopted off-grid standards will ensure that these solutions fulfill the demands of the people. They cover a range of issues, including safety, reliability, and sustainability. For example, the standards require that the off-grid systems or products are designed and tested to meet international safety standards set by IEC.While these standards have been adopted nationally, NISIT will work with the National Energy Authority, partners, and key stakeholders to initiate a pathway to implement the standards within PNG to fast-track energy access in the off-grid space.
Impacts in the Forestry Sector
The Timber Legality Standard (TLS) was initiated back in 2012 by the Forest Authority due to changes in domestic and international market requirements to define what constitutes legal timber sourced forest products from the country.Several field tests were conducted by PNG Forest Authority followed by extensive stakeholder consultation and engagement. The National Executive Council (NEC) approved version of the TLS was sent to NISIT to be drafted into a Papua New Guinea National Standard.In compliance with the process, described in the NISIT Standardization Directives Part 1: Procedures for Technical Standards Development work, the draft Standard was reviewed through the working Committee using the Standardization Process before it was put on Gazette as PNG Standard for implementation and compliance.NISIT acknowledges the work of stakeholders and the international partnership with US Aid under its Lukautim Graun Programme and World Wildlife Fund. There was a delay in delivering the Standard because of the outbreak of the COVID-19 Pandemic as it affected the review and delay in accessing the Annexes for the draft Standard from stakeholders.The goal of Timber Legality is to ensure that PNG’s Forestry Sector is making effort towards legal and sustainable forest management. Its objective is to see that PNG’s forestry sector is complying with all relevant social, environmental, and economic laws and regulations.The Timber Legality Requirements are necessary because they make it convenient for Monitoring of Forestry Industry Participants’ (FIP) their compliance with national laws and regulations, as well as with international conventions.The Timber Legality Standard also aligns with the core objectives of the PNG Forestry Regulation in the PNG Forestry Act 1991 (as amended) “to manage, develop and protect the Nation’s Forest resources and environment in such a way as to conserve and renew them for future generations” and reflected in the Government’s downstream processing policy.
HONOURABLE MAREPO SOROI EOE
Acting Minister for Commerce and Industry