IEC, World Bank and UN Foundation announce rural electrification support for developing countries

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC), the World Bank Group and the United Nations Foundation have announced a cooperative agreement that will enable developing countries access important technical documents that support rural electrification, at specially discounted prices.

The documents include the Quality Assurance Framework for solar powered off-grid lighting products, which has been used by the Lighting Africa and Lighting Asia programs to avert market spoilage by products of unverified quality.

The off-grid lighting quality assurance framework was originally developed through the Lighting Africa program, and it was adopted by IEC in a process that involved funding support from the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and Global LEAP.

The tripartite agreement is providing discounts of between 50 and 75 percent depending on the specific document purchased, to qualified stakeholders.

The documents are part of IEC’s Technical Specification 62257 series titled Recommendations for small renewable energy and hybrid systems for rural electrification, which outlines international best practices for improving energy access in developing countries using a range of technologies.

“When developing countries use internationally recognized technical specifications it allows them to secure long-term sustainability of investments, as well as interoperability and safety of the products they are installing,” according to a press statement posted on the IEC website.

The adoption and use of internationally accepted standards and technical specifications also helps ensure that product components work together properly and that businesses dealing in the off-grid sector are able to deliver reliable products and systems.

The IEC 62257 series contains technical specifications which address three main topics:

  1. introduction to rural electrification;
  2. project management and implementation guidelines; and
  3. technical specifications for components and systems.

The IEC TS 62257 series also provides project implementers with information on how to select the best product from a variety available in their local markets, the best suited quality tests for specific market conditions, and technical and economic aspects of energy products and systems.