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Government seeks to propose new national standards for the small-scale solar home system with the primary aim of regulating the quality of imported items.

Most of the solar technologies used in Ethiopia are reported to be imported from Asian countries and a report by the World Bank Group magnifies that about 60% of the solar technology products in Ethiopia’s market are poor quality or sub-standard products.

According to the Addis Fortune, the standard was drafted with a joint effort by the Ministry of Water, Irrigation & Electricity, Ethiopia (MoWIE) Standards Agency and Ministry of Environment, Forest & Climate Change.

It was then tabled for discussion to receive comments from stakeholders in a seminar that was held in Adama recenlty. Read more: Ethiopia issues roadmap for wind power development

Dereje Walelgn, president of Solar Energy Development Association Ethiopia , believes that the new standard can ensure quality, as the market has been flooded with sub-standard products.

The initiation to drafting the standard came from the ministry that requested the Standard Agency for the preparation of the standard in November 2016.

“We believe the standard will increase the use of renewable energy in the country and encourage the private sector to involve in the business,” said Frehiwot Kebede, state minister of MoWIE.

“Renewable energy is a priority for us accompanied by the production of clean energy sources and increasing access to power.”

“The standard could help the country in reaching a community which is in an off-grid area,” said Zewge Worku, acting director with energy efficiency and conservation at the Ethiopian Energy Authority.

Solar standards – obligatory

Currently, the Ethiopian Energy Authority is conducting an impact assessment study to make the standard obligatory.

The Standard Agency is collecting feedback from stakeholders in 60 days and will incorporate them in the draft, according to Yilma Mengistu, director of standards at the Agency.

The standards will become obligatory after it has been approved by the National Standardization Council.

“Hopefully, if the standard is approved, it would help control the lesser quality imports in the informal channels,” said Tigabu.