Conformity Assessment for Off-Grid Solar Products

Off-grid solar (OGS) products play a critical role in improving livelihoods and creating income-generating opportunities for off- and weak-grid communities. To meet the growing demand for essential energy services, OGS products of varying quality and durability are flooding markets, especially those serving the poorest and most vulnerable consumers for whom purchasing a solar product is a significant investment.

In response to the issue of low-quality products entering markets, some governments have adopted OGS quality standards and use conformity assessment programs to determine whether products fulfil the requirements described in the quality standards.

While Pre-Export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programs serve well in screening, inefficiencies in the process could pose a challenge to manufacturers of OGS products. We surveyed and interviewed nearly two dozen VeraSol-certified solar energy kit manufacturers from China, Hong Kong, Kenya, the USA and Europe to learn about their experience with PVoC.  The good news is that manufacturers who mainly import to large African off-grid solar markets are generally able to navigate the process successfully, but we also found opportunities for improvement.

Read the report to learn more.