IFC and CLASP Announce New Partnership to Sustain Quality Standards for Consumers in Off-Grid Solar Markets
Washington D.C., USA and Utrecht, Netherlands, November 18, 2016—Today, IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, and CLASP, an international NGO with deep expertise in the deployment of energy efficiency standards and labeling, with support from the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), announced a new partnership to ensure the long-term sustainability of the Lighting Global Quality Assurance program—an internationally-recognized framework developed by IFC over the past nine years to ensure that off-grid lighting products meet consumers’ expectations for quality, affordability, and truth-in-advertising.
After successfully building the quality assurance program, which underpins the industry’s rapid development, IFC sought a home for the program to ensure support for the market’s development in the long-term. CLASP was competitively selected to work with IFC and GOGLA to steward the program into its next phase of growth, setting standards and quality-verifying products that deliver modern energy services to those mired in energy poverty. To date, more than 100 million people have benefitted from using IFC’s Lighting Global quality-verified products.
Russell Sturm, IFC’s Global Head of Energy Access, said, “Lighting Global Quality Assurance has been a crucial factor in enabling the rapid scaling of the solar lighting market by mitigating risks for investors and early adopters of solar technology in emerging markets. This new partnership will continue to improve the experience of manufacturers, consumers, and other stakeholders in the off-grid solar market.”
Off-grid solar products can offer affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy services to the 1.2 billion people around the world currently living without access to grid electricity. According to the recent GOGLA-IFC Global Off-Grid Solar Semi-Annual Market Report, there are now well over 6 million Lighting Global quality-verified products sold annually. To date, off-grid products have replaced nearly 21 million harmful lighting sources including kerosene lamps, candles and battery-powered torches, saving $4.3 billion on energy-related spending.
Christine Egan, CEO of CLASP, said, “We are thrilled to support this much-needed service to off-grid energy markets, including to appliance and off-grid solar system manufacturers, distributors, and retailers. Together, these markets hold the potential to eradicate global energy poverty and are essential to preventing catastrophic climate change.”
Koen Peters, Executive Director of GOGLA, added, “We fully recognize the leading role that IFC Lighting Global has played thus far, and through this new partnership with CLASP, we will provide an industry voice to ensure that the quality assurance program is an effective vehicle for enabling the market’s continuing growth while preserving the credibility that allows the standards to be embraced by investors, governments, and consumers.”
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development institution focused on the private sector in emerging markets. Working with 2,000 businesses worldwide, we use our six decades of experience to create opportunity where it’s needed most. In FY16, our long-term investments in developing countries rose to nearly $19 billion, leveraging our capital, expertise and influence to help the private sector end extreme poverty and boost shared prosperity.
About Lighting Global
Lighting Global is the World Bank Group’s platform to support sustainable growth of the international off-grid solar market as a means of rapidly increasing energy access to the 1.2 billion people without grid electricity. Through Lighting Global, the International Finance Corporation (IFC) and the World Bank work with the Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA), manufacturers, distributors, and other development partners to develop the modern off-grid energy market. The Lighting Global program supports market development by working with private companies to lower first-mover risk and mobilize private sector investment through market intelligence, quality assurance, business support services and consumer education.
CLASP improves the environmental and energy performance of the appliances and related systems we use every day, lessening their impacts on people and the world around us. Since 1999, CLASP has worked in over 50 economies, developing and sharing transformative policy and market solutions in collaboration with global experts and local stakeholders. At the core of CLASP’s 17-year record of success in delivering impacts is the focus on creating a culture in which collaboration with partners and key stakeholders—from government policy makers and energy efficiency program implementing agencies to product experts and industry associations—is prized and continuously cultivated.
The Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) is a neutral, independent, not-for-profit association created to promote lighting solutions that benefit society and businesses in developing and emerging markets. GOGLA acts as the industry advocate, supporting the growth and strengthening of a market for clean, quality off-grid lighting and electrical systems. Its main objective is to support industry in scaling, based on principles of the triple bottom line, thus contributing to the objectives of Sustainable Energy for All (SE4All) and the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).