At the Regional Validation Workshop for the Draft Standards for Electrodomestic Appliances and Regional Standard for Plug & Play Solar Home Systems Kits organized on May 22nd – 23rd, ECOWAS has taken an important step towards a more sustainable energy region, by validating the draft standards for appliances and plug & play Solar Home Systems (SHS).

It is well known the engagement of the ECOWAS Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE) to promote sustainability across the region, by forging strategic partnerships with development partners such as the World Bank Group, GIZ, the European Union, the German Cooperation and the Clean Energy Fund.

Through its programs and projects, ECREEE has evidenced a strong commitment to promote sustainability through renewable energy and energy efficiency.  A recent evidence of such commitment is the implementation of the Regional Off-Grid Electrification Project (ROGEP), financed by World Bank with an overall budget of US$220 million, to promote standalone solar systems in West Africa. The Centre has been also very dedicated to improve the administration of the RE & EE sectors, by running a project on Improving the Governance of the RE & EE sector in West Africa (AGoSEREE – AO). Among other objectives, this project aims at harmonizing the institutional, legislative and regulatory national frameworks to promote investments in RE, EE and universal access to modern energy.

The adoption of minimal required standards for appliances and SHS products entering the ECOWAS region, means that such products will undergo through QA process to meet the appropriate standards, such as performance, safety and durability, all of which are important to ensure the market, its customers and indeed all stakeholders, are protected from poor quality.

According to Hamadou Tchiemogo, Technical Coordinator of ROGEP, “the development, adoption and implementation of standards for solar home kits and pico PV products is a quality assurance requirement, as it provides consumers with access to important information on which they can rely, helping them make informed decisions on whether or not to acquire such systems.”

From 23 – 25 May, the Technical Management Committee (TMC) from the ECOWAS Standards Harmonization Model (ECOSHAM), will be working with the Member States in order to discuss and get inputs from the country representatives for working sessions to improve and further submission to the Technical Harmonization Committee (THC).

Dr. Charles Diarra Acting Head of Energy Efficiency of ECREEE stated that the formulation and implementation of the selected electrical household appliances will contribute to the EE program of ECREEE to implement measures aimed at freeing up 2,000 MW of power generation capacity by 2021.