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    Friday, June 3, 2022

    SON, IFC Launch Laboratory for Renewable Energy Products

    The Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON) in collaboration with International Finance Corporation (IFC) commissioned testing laboratory for Renewable Energy Products.

    The organisations have therefore assured products end-users and consumers of quality products in the renewable energy sector. To ensure this, the agency rolled out standards for equipment in this sector which would make the sector compete and even outshine power distribution companies across the country in the area of efficient and regular power supply.

    At the official launch of solar home systems and solar stand-alone systems laboratory Tuesday in Lagos, the Director General, SON, Mallam Farouk Salim disclosed that Nigeria via SON has concluded arrangements to institute the international Electric Commission (IEC) system for certification of standards relating to equipment for use in renewable Energy applications (IECRE). IECRE specifies procedures for renewable energy project certification scheme regarding specific standards and technical requirements.

    According to him, IECRE provides assurances that renewable energy equipment are reliable, resilient, environmentally friendly, Public health safety, creating employment opportunities, Low maintenance cost and stable energy prices, among other benefits.

    When fully operational, standards in renewable energy would force off-grid Distribution companies (Discos) under the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) provide regular power supply or be forced out of business due to massive resort to renewable energy by consumers.

    Mallam Salim said with the commissioning of SON Laboratories, challenges in the renewable energy sector are being tackled, calling on all stakeholders to patronize the facilities for quality products in the sector as well as meeting the implementation of the United Nations Sustainable

    Development Goals and growing Nigeria’s economy. He also appealed to International Organisations, relevant MDAs as well as business leaders in the renewable energy (RE) sector to put hands on deck to ensuring diligent implementation of the standards and optimal utilization of the laboratory facilities for the overall benefit of all.

    Renewable energy standards would boost power demand, supply, capacities and reliability across the country. The SON solar laboratory project was started by the International Finance Corporation (IFC/Lighting Africa) in collaboration with African Clean Energy Programme (ACE) and CLASP. Apart from the official handover of the facility, the occasion was equally used to launch market surveillance and enforcement plans for the RE sector and presentation of certificates to trained laboratory engineers.

    On his part, British Deputy High Commissioner in Nigeria, Mr. Ben Llewellyn-Jones expressed delight over what have been achieved so far and commitment to supporting SON help Nigeria get access to global energy. He said significant strides have been made to enable access and utilization of good energy resources such as good solar.

    Efforts to meet energy access in the UK have been more than committed to driving good access to good solar energy. He said for a long time the proliferation of substandard solar products in the country have created serious reputation issues to the sector and have created market spillage, adding that this was a key and very difficult issue which needs to be addressed.

    “To recognize an important issue in the sector, UK government supports and shows its commitment to the Nigerian government and hence the adoption to international recognized standards of products and how these standards need to be adopted as international standards by the Nigerian government for standard way of selling products in Nigeria”, he stated.

    According to him, quality is important and needs to be enforced to improve the sector and eliminate poor quality products hence UK government also commissioned setting up quality test laboratory that meets international standards to support standards enforcement and improve surveillance activities by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria. He said the laboratory was the first of its kind in West Africa that would help the enforcement of quality standards and standard way of selling products in Nigeria.

    The chairman of Renewable Energy Manufacturers Association Mr Dr segun Adaju said the launching of the laboratory would deepen investment and consumers’ confidence in the sector. He regretted that the members of the association have relied on lightening Africa Project approved manufacturers list for importation.

    He urged SON to embark on aggressive awareness campaign to educate users on how to support SON to flush out bad elements in the sector, he said the association has adopted self-regulatory approach to discipline erring members.

    The implementation of the standard and quality verification of the new laboratory would mitigate unwholesome business practices in the sector, experts say.

    The demand for efficient energy in rural and urban areas as well as challenges posed by climate change have resulted to increasing need to RE and Energy Efficiency (EE) sourced from solar, wind, biomass and others.

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