IFC, TERI to Benchmark Quality Solar Products for Off-Grid, Low Income Consumers

world bankNew Delhi, India, April 17, 2013—IFC, a member of the World Bank, is partnering with policy and research organization, The Energy and Resources Institute, to upgrade the Institute’s solar lighting laboratory into a state-of-the art testing facility for ensuring quality solar lighting products for millions of Indians with no access to grid power.

Manufacturers will be able to get their products tested at the upgraded Solar Lighting Laboratory in TERI University’s New Delhi campus based on procedures specified by International Electrotechnical Commission, a body that sets all electrical standards worldwide. IEC testing will certify products for international quality assurance, helping manufacturers produce affordable quality solar LED lights for end-users in India.

Addressing the Clean Energy Ministerial in New Delhi, Dr R K Pachauri, Director-General of TERI, said, “Once fully developed, the lab will be among the few in Asia that will be accredited to test solar lighting products according to global benchmarks, taking forward our work of developing quality and long-performing solar lighting systems.”

Low-income people in need of off-grid lighting solutions are often dissatisfied with the performance of inferior products flooding the market. Realizing that a strong, quality assurance and testing program will go a long way in building consumer confidence in solar products, IFC’s Lighting Asia/India Program is working with TERI towards this end.

“Quality is a key determinant in the success of off-grid lighting products and laboratory testing is the best way to reliably benchmark products,” said Jeeva A. Perumalpillai-Essex, Manager, Sustainable Business Advisory, IFC. “Our partnership with TERI will ensure the availability of reliable solar lighting products for those cut off from the power grid.”

Lighting Asia is part of IFC’s off-grid lighting program for Asia, and is first being rolled out in India in partnership with the governments of the United States of America and Italy. This holistic program collaborates with industry across the entire value chain — manufacturing, distribution, supply chain management and financing — to make quality off-grid lighting products available to two million people living in rural India by 2016.

About IFC

IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.