ECOWAS standards experts meet in Accra to build capacity on Off-Grid Solar PV products

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Participants
Participants

Some standards experts from member countries of ECOWAS are meeting in Accra, to build their capacities on the implementation and enforcement of the use of Off-Grid Solar PV products and technologies.

The meeting will enable the standards experts in the Sub-region to enforce two standards related to solar PV Off-Grid products up to 350 watt and adopt a common testing methods for solar products, services and technologies.

The experts were drawn from institutions responsible for enforcement of standards in Ghana, Nigeria, Cabo Verde, Sierra Leone, Liberia and The Gambia, to share their knowledge and ideas on the use of Off-Grid Solar PV products, technologies and services in their respective countries.

The three-day workshop formed part of the Regional Off-Grid Electricity Access Project (ROGEAP) being funded by the World Bank, in partnership with the Clean Technology Fund (CTF) and the Directorate General for International Co-operation (DGIS) of the Government of Netherlands.

The ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREE) in collaboration with the West African Development Bank recently launched the Project in a bid to increase access to electricity for households, businesses and public institutions, using stand-alone solar technology through a harmonised regional approach.

Elhadji Sylla, the ROGEAP Coordinator for the ECOWAS Commission, in his welcome remarks, said the $328-million funded project formed part of the ECOWAS Regional Renewable Energy Policy to provide universal access to electricity to the Sub-region by 2030.

The project, he said, covered the ECOWAS region and the Sahel, aimed at creating a regional market and improving access to finance for stand-alone solar system businesses.

It will, among others, identify policy barriers affecting the growth of solar market, create awareness among policy-makers on the benefit of removing such policy barriers and help countries to adopt a Common External Tariffs (CETs) to facilitate cross-border trade of solar products.

The project provides funding matching grant to solar related businesses and entrepreneurs up to US$25,000.

The meeting in Accra will enable the standards experts in the Sub-region to enforce two standards related to solar PV Off-Grid products up to 350 watt and adopt a common testing methods for solar products.

Mr Francis Mensah Akpaloo, a Senior Scientific Officer at the Ghana Standards Authority, in a brief address, said enforcement of standards in every country was critical as it enhances the confidence of consumers to ensure value for money.

It also ensured level playing field for businesses to thrive and create awareness for the public to identify and differentiate between acceptable products and sub-standard ones, Mr Akpaloo said.

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