Harmonising Quality Assurance for Solar Energy Kits in the ECOWAS Region
The ECOWAS region, comprising nearly one-third of Sub-Saharan Africa’s population, faces significant energy challenges, including inadequate electricity supply and rising energy demands. To address this, renewable energy sources like solar power offer a sustainable solution for improved electrification and energy access. The adoption of Lighting Global’s Quality Standards for Pico-PV products and solar home system (SHS) kits in West Africa was recommended by ECREEE in 2019, and subsequent endorsement by regional committees led to the adoption of IEC standards for off-grid solar products in early 2022.
Enhancing Capacity for Quality Assurance
To support these efforts, the VeraSol team – in partnership with ECREEE and the World Bank funded ROGEAP project – conducted regional capacity-building workshops in April and May 2023. VeraSol’s experts led a one-week train-the-trainers workshop for ECREEE staff in Nigeria, preparing them to provide technical assistance to ECOWAS Member states. Three subsequent workshops were held in Niger, Ghana and Togo for key public (Standard bodies and REA) sector stakeholders from ROGEAP countries, which focused on developing sustainable national quality assurance (QA) frameworks and regional harmonisation. The workshops covered standards adoption, conformity assessment, market surveillance, standards enforcement, and monitoring & evaluation.
Harmonisation of Regional Standards
Harmonising regional standards and implementing national-level IEC standards for solar energy kits across the 15 ECOWAS countries establish a solid foundation for robust solar energy markets. By safeguarding consumers against sub-standard products, regional harmonisation fosters a conducive environment for trade and private sector growth, providing access to a large and contiguous market.
Contributing to ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy
The adoption of these regional standards aligns with the ECOWAS Renewable Energy Policy (EREP) targets, particularly the objective of providing standalone systems to 47.2 million inhabitants by 2030. This advancement in quality assurance contributes significantly to the realization of universal access to energy.
For additional information on regional harmonisation, visit the ECREEE and ECOWAS website:
- ECREEE builds capacity in the ECOWAS region on quality assurance of off-grid solar PV products
- Closing of regional workshops on quality assurance of off-grid solar Photovoltaic products
- Regional capacity building workshops for experts from ROGEAP Member States on the solar PV off-grid standards up to 350 Wp
- The Lighting Global Quality Standards for off-grid solar products have since been adopted by the International Electrotechnical Commission as IEC TS 62257-9-8.