Standardisation, Quality Assurance Critical for Renewable Energy in Nigeria, Says SON DG

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By Oluchi Chibuzor

The Director General of the Standard Organisation of Nigeria (SON), Osita Aboloma, has emphasised the need for stakeholders in the renewable energy industry to comply with quality assurance and standards in order to drive the deployment of Pico Photovoltaic (PV) in the off-grid solar system.

The DG, made the call at the SON/International Finance Corporation (IFC) Stakeholders’ Workshop on the development of standards for Pico PV Products and Solar Home Systems (SHS) Kits, in partnership with Lighting Africa, held recently in Lagos. Abpartnership was represented by Head Laboratory, SON Lagos, Alewu Cherry, in an opening speech, stressed the need for the private sector to actively partici- pate in standards development in Nigeria, like other African Nations, through its Manda- tory Conformity Assessment Programme (MANCAP) and Standards Organisation of Nigeria Conformity Assess- ment (SONCAP). He said the with emerging opportunities in the sector, there was need to understand standards and specifications for Pico Photovol- taic (PV) system.

According to him, “We therefore need standards to be assured that there is quality. So, for efficient use of energy and also for Renewable energy to work for us, there must be standards and we all must be ready to implement every requirement and specifications. “The workshop is to drive the needed ideas for the deployment of quality Pico PV Systems capable of ensuring clean, safe, low cost, durable and efficient off-grid energy off less than or equal to 350 Watts and 35 V peak Direct current (DC) regardless of locations either in the cities or in the rural areas,” he said.

He also added that SON was equipped with all the necessary Quality Assurance tools capable of giving confidence to providers, dealers and consumers of all PV systems through testing and certification. According to the Program Manager, Lighting Africa Nigeria, International finance Corporation (IFC), Allwell Nwankwo, said, “the lighting Africa Nigeria program plays a catalytic role in terms of activating the market for off-grid solar sector and formally publish the International Electro-technical Commission(IEC) standards in Nigeria for SON to adopt. “Our aim is to institutionalise quality in the off-grid solar market in Nigeria, because after the stan- dards have been adopted, critical thing would be implementing the standards in Nigeria to ensure that the sector is not infiltrated by counterfeit products.”