10 December 2021
Solar testing at the Quality Test Lab, Standards Organisation of Nigeria.
Spotlight on Nigeria
Reliable data helps to electrify remote health centers in Zambia 
Access to reliable data has been a key constraint to development in Africa, affecting all sectors including energy. Yet energy is the cornerstone for socio-economic development and linked with 125 (74%) of the 169 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG) targets. It is unfortunate that energy expansion planning oftentimes relies on limited data. With evolving technology, this should change.

Zambia has a total population of about 18.3 million people, with more than half living with no access to basic energy services. The country mainly relies on hydropower for electricity generation, whose capacity has been affected by frequent droughts. Consequently, the country has been facing load shedding that sometimes lasts up to 20 hours a day. Such power cuts have had a huge impact on the country’s economy and the government has been looking for ways to diversify the national energy mix to achieve universal electrification by 2030. To attain this goal, access to reliable data will be crucial. Read more

Consumer protection: Lessons from developing the Pre-export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programme in Ethiopia
One of the top priorities for the Government of Ethiopia is to safeguard the country from unfair trade practices and the dumping of substandard goods.  However, close to 60% of solar products imported into Ethiopia are of poor quality. To address this, the government has been working with ACE TAF in partnership with the International Finance Corporation (IFC) over the last two years to ensure imported products comply with the national quality standards. In April 2021 the Ethiopian Quality Standards (ES IEC TS 62257-9-8: 2020) for solar products up to 350Wp were adopted and the process of enforcing the standards began. On 30 September 2021, the government officially launched the Pre-export Verification of Conformity (PVoC) programme. The PVoC is a comprehensive process that starts at the country of origin to ensure imported products adhere to Ethiopian standards and regulations. Two companies, Cotecna and Bureau Veritas have been awarded contracts to conduct PVoC assessments for solar products. Read more
ACE TAF continues to provide insights through the End-User Subsidies Lab webinar series 

On 30 September 2021, ACE TAF, ESMAP/Lighting Global and GOGLA launched the End-User Subsidies Lab. The End-User Subsidies Lab aims to address the 'affordability gap' for consumers of standalone solar products and contribute to the attainment of SDG 7 on universal access to clean and reliable energy by 2030. Evidence shows that off-grid solar is the cheapest and fastest way to electrify people in rural areas that have no access to the grid. However, over 100 million people are not able to afford solar products at the current prices. End-user subsidies address this affordability gap by directly reducing costs for consumers. It is important that such subsidies are designed carefully so that they a) work alongside other ‘pro-poor solutions’ (e.g. fiscal support, financial innovations, supply-side subsidies), and b) do not impede other energy access efforts. Read more
From our Partners
CLASP Policy Resource Center
The CLASP Policy Resource Center (CPRC) is a global hub for information on energy efficiency, water efficiency, and quality standards for appliances and equipment from over 120 global economies. This includes quality standards for standalone solar products, both those already adopted and those currently under development. The most comprehensive global policy platform of its kind, the CPRC is designed to be an easily searchable library and eliminate time spent manually compiling resources from a deluge of online content. Visit the center

Quality in the off-grid solar market report
With financial support from UK Aid and the World Bank Group, VeraSol commissioned a first-of-its-kind study to evaluate consumers’ experiences with off-grid solar products in Kenya. This study sought to complement the existing laboratory-based data on quality assurance by focusing on how consumers interact with quality-verified and non-quality verified products. 

Overall, the consumers surveyed confirm that off-grid solar products are indeed delivering as expected, with about 70% expressing satisfaction with the solar product’s durability, price and aftersales services offered​. Read the full report here
Why effective corporate governance is important in the early stages of an off-grid solar company
Many early-stage off-grid solar companies do not have corporate governance at the top of their priority list, as they are running their day-to-day operations and try to manage their business as best as they can. Some may also believe implementing a formal corporate governance framework is only necessary at a later stage, when they are ‘’big enough”. Although this is understandable and the creation of the right corporate governance structures and policies is sometimes challenging, this approach misses an important opportunity. Read more
SAS Knowledge Hub - New Resources
Stand-Alone Solar Knowledge Hub Calatogue
Impact assessment of VAT and import duty exemptions for stand-alone solar in Nigeria
Regional energy bureaus in Ethiopia: Needs assessment report and action plan
  • January 2022 - Launch of the Quality Testing Lab located at the Standards Organisation of Nigeria

  • January 2022: Launch of the Energy Access Explorer Map in Ethiopia.