The Ethiopian market for Stand-Alone Solar (SAS) products is now at a level of maturity that warrants increased compliance measures to protect consumers, promote continued market growth and improve energy access for Ethiopians. The Ethiopian government, through the Ethiopia Standards Agency (ESA), Ethiopian Conformity Assessment Enterprise (ECAE), Ministry of Water, Irrigation and Energy (MoWIE), Ministry of Trade and Industry (MoTI) and others, has made commendable progress in developing and implementing policies to promote high-quality solar equipment and energy access.
The document provides recommendations to guide relevant stakeholders in the development and implementation of a quality assurance (QA) framework for stand-alone solar (SAS) products in Ethiopia. In the context of this document, products are photovoltaic (PV) powered, direct current (DC) energy systems with peak power of less than 350 watts, as defined by the IEC quality standards and laboratory test methods (IEC TS 62257-9-8:2020 and IEC TS 62257-9-5:2018), respectively. The guidance presented in this document is organised according to the recommended sequencing and principal elements that form a comprehensive and best-practice approach to QA. This document is intended to be used by Ethiopia’s institutional actors as a tool to guide their activities as they work together to build the QA framework for SAS products. Recommendations provided herein cover early-stage activities like developing a strategy and creating a detailed implementation plan, as well as successive steps such as establishing and operationalising systems for standards compliance, market surveillance, enforcement and monitoring and evaluation.
Carrying out the recommendations provided in this document will rely heavily on the policy structures that are in place and being built, as well as the continued commitment of public and private sector stakeholders. An effective compliance framework for SAS products in Ethiopia will also require allocation of funds and resources to put the framework in place and to allow sustainable operation. While there are some challenges to be encountered along the way, we believe that through cooperation, planning and dedication, Ethiopia is positioned to be a global leader in implementation of quality assurance for SAS products.