This week, Lighting Global signed a new agreement with the Shenzhen Technology University (SZTU) and the Shenzhen Academy of Metrology and Quality Inspection (SMQ) to enhance the quality of solar lighting and energy products manufactured in China. This collaboration comes as part of a larger strategy to accelerate the market for solar off-grid products in Africa and Asia. Most of these products are manufactured in China, where the local expertise has been essential to enable innovation and cost that drives the development of this $1 billion market. This new collaboration started with the publication and translation of the International Electrotechnical Commission’s (IEC) technical specification for pico-solar products and plug-and-play solar home system kits released in Shanghai this week.
The Mandarin edition of the testing technical specification (IEC/TS 62257-9-5:2018) was published by the Standardization Administration of China (SAC), the national standards body of China. These test methods have become the global quality standard for clean off-grid lighting products founded in Lighting Global’s Quality Assurance Program. This is the first time any IEC standard or IEC technical specification has been translated into Chinese. Lighting Global worked closely with both SMQ and SZTU to translate, review, and promote these testing methods.
In the coming months, the partnership will continue the work to:
- Support Chinese manufacturers in producing solar products that meet Lighting Global Quality Standards based on testing to the IEC test methods;
- Engage manufacturers in China who can collectively drive volume sales and scale up adoption of quality solar products in Africa and Asia; and
- Develop technical training programs, testing centers and curricula to support companies, manufacturers, and engineering students in understanding and meeting quality standards in Shenzhen and throughout Southeast China.
Russell Sturm, lead for energy access of the International Finance Corporation signed the agreement along with Ruan Shuangchen, President of SZTU during the signing ceremony in Shanghai. Sturm expressed deep appreciation for the supportive role that SZTU and SMQ have played, “We will deepen our engagement with the Chinese manufacturing industry to scale up the production of quality solar products to meet the long unmet needs for energy access in Africa and Asia,” he said.
Lighting Global works with manufacturers, distributors, governments, and other development partners to build and grow the modern off-grid solar energy market. We maintain Quality Standards that set a baseline level of quality, durability, and truth in advertising to protect consumers. Private companies in the Asian region are a critical component in developing the global market for off-grid lighting products in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa, where the need is greatest. Off-grid solar sales are expected to grow by 25% annually, reaching a projected 70 million units sold by 2022. Lighting Global, SZTU, and SMQ will develop outreach and training materials targeting manufacturers in China in the coming months.