Answering Your Frequently Asked Questions About VeraSol
VeraSol, the new and evolved quality assurance program for the off-grid solar energy industry, launches this Tuesday at the Global Off-Grid Solar Forum and Expo in Nairobi, Kenya. Under VeraSol, all services offered under Lighting Global Quality Assurance will be merged with services for appliances and productive uses.
CLASP and the Schatz Energy Research Center will continue to work with Lighting Global, industry, and governments to ensure a smooth transition from Lighting Global Quality Assurance to VeraSol. To answer your questions, the VeraSol team has prepared a list of frequently asked questions. We encourage you to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions.
To learn more about VeraSol, please download our program brochure.
1. Lighting Global Quality Assurance is well established in the off-grid solar energy sector. Why change the name to VeraSol?
The off-grid solar energy industry has grown and changed since Lighting Global Quality Assurance first launched. Off-grid companies now make, distribute, and sell products beyond basic lighting solutions. As the number and range of off-grid products has grown, so has the need to identify good-quality products. A new name and brand will allow VeraSol to serve a more diverse range of market actors and product categories, including off-grid appliances and productive uses.
2. Does this mean the IFC and World Bank have discontinued their involvement and support for quality assurance?
No, the IFC and World Bank have not discontinued their support for quality assurance. While Lighting Global Quality Assurance was instrumental in shaping the off-grid solar energy sector, it was always the World Bank Group’s intention to grow the quality assurance program into a standalone program under the leadership of CLASP. Lighting Global has been working closely with CLASP since 2016 to build its capacity to operate the quality assurance program. The program is now ready to launch under a new brand. The IFC and World Bank will continue to work closely with VeraSol through foundational support and strategic guidance.
3. Does this mean the Lighting Global program no longer exists?
No, Lighting Global will continue to operate as a market development program offering business development services to companies. Lighting Global will continue to work in close coordination with CLASP to promote quality off-grid solar solutions and support a smooth transition from Lighting Global Quality Assurance to VeraSol.
4. Who is behind VeraSol?
VeraSol is managed by CLASP in close coordination with the Schatz Energy Research Center at Humboldt State University (Schatz Center). CLASP and the Schatz Center managed standards development, product testing, quality verification, and technical assistance for Lighting Global Quality Assurance since 2016. They will continue to do so under VeraSol. VeraSol is supported by an expanding group of institutions and organizations. Foundational support for VeraSol is provided by the World Bank Group’s Lighting Global program, UKaid, the IKEA Foundation, and others.
5. Where can I access Lighting Global Quality Assurance resources, such as Technical Notes, stakeholder feedback, and information about quality standards?
Through mid-2020, all Lighting Global Quality Assurance resources may be accessed through the Lighting Global website. After June 2020, those resources will be housed at VeraSol.org.
6. Where will products be tested or quality-verified?
Lighting Global Quality Assurance test laboratories will continue to test products under the VeraSol Test Lab Network, formerly the Lighting Global Test Lab Network. VeraSol will expand its lab network and capacity to test a range of off-grid appropriate appliances and productive use equipment. Laboratories in the network currently have the capacity to test pico-PV products and SHS kits, as well as off-grid-appropriate fans, televisions, refrigerators, and solar water pumps.
7. Will the brand transition affect the testing and quality verification process for pico-solar products and SHS kits?
Products will continue to be tested using the same IEC test methods and the results reviewed by the same team of experts. For the time being, products that meet the Lighting Global Quality Standards will continue to be issued Lighting Global verification letters. Later this year, we plan to begin evaluating products against the newly adopted IEC Quality Standards and issuing VeraSol verification letters. We will work with companies and others to determine the appropriate timing for these changes.
8. Will this transition make it difficult for me to get my Lighting Global quality-verified products to market?
We will make every effort to work with companies, programs, and governments to ensure a smooth transition from Lighting Global Quality Assurance to VeraSol and help companies obtain the documentation they need to comply with import rules and other regulations. We believe that, working together, we can minimize market disruption. The VeraSol team will work in partnership with the World Bank Group to leverage its long-standing relationships and communicate essential information to key audiences well in advance of any major changes.
9. Where can I find information on quality-verified pico-PV products and SHS kits? What about off-grid appliance data?
Currently, all product information on quality-verified pico-PV products and SHS kits may be found on the products page of the Lighting Global website. Likewise, all performance data for off-grid appropriate fans, televisions, refrigerators, and solar water pumps may be found on Equip Data. Please visit VeraSol.org for links to the Lighting Global products page and Equip Data. All of these product data will be housed together on VeraSol.org after June 2020.
10. How do I get in touch with the VeraSol team?
For general inquiries, contact info@VeraSol.org. Visit our website to sign up for our newsletter and important program updates. You may also follow us on Twitter at @VeraSol_QA and LinkedIn at VeraSol Quality Assurance.