Safety, efficiency and reliability at the backbone of sustainable rural electrification

David Lecoque, CEO, ARE

Ensuring a holistic and sustainable approach to renewable electrification

Steven L. Kukoda, Executive Director, ICA

As I write this, I am reflecting on how far CORE has advanced in less than one year of existence. CORE is already working with five initiatives across Africa and Asia, ensuring that DRE projects are not only providing much-needed energy access, but that they are doing so with the principles of sustainability, efficiency and reliability at their core.

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Access to energy needs a holistic approach, and we designed CORE to empower local communities by training local residents to be able to install, maintain and repair their DRE systems without the need to bring in technicians from overseas.

With the early success of CORE, the International Copper Association (ICA) along with key project partners in May 2022 launched an additional initiative GEAR: Grid Efficiency and Resilience at SEforALL Forum in Rwanda in May 2022.

The objective of the GEAR Initiative is to improve the efficiency and resilience of grids to contribute to greater access to safe and reliable electricity, by mobilising existing structures, organisations, and programmes in regional efforts throughout the continent.

In Africa, electricity demand currently stands at around 200 TWh p.a. and is expected to more than quadruple by 2040 under an energy demand growth scenario based on existing policies and driven by expected increases in income and industrialization. A more ambitious 2040 scenario that prioritises universal access to electricity shows a seven-fold increase to 1,500 TWh p.a. The electricity demand projections are being progressively converted into investment plans and contracts for electricity infrastructure worth at least US$ 42 billion per year through 2040.

With political aspirations to get more people connected (Sustainable Development Goal 7 calls for universal energy access by 2030), priority is given to the lowest initial cost. One way to increase the amount of electricity delivered to the final end-users is to reduce losses in transmission and distribution (T&D). It is with this in mind that the GEAR Initiative was established.

The African Union has acknowledged that Africa’s grid, especially in Sub-Saharan Africa, has higher technical and commercial losses than many other economies. The African Union’s Action Plan for Harmonised Regulatory Framework for the Electricity Market in Africa (2016) identifies that “most African countries record very high total transmission and distribution system losses. While the total system losses in developed countries range between 7-10%, they are about 15-29% in most sub–Saharan African countries”. In the Republic of Congo, T&D losses are estimated at 44.5%.

It has been said that SDG-7 is the golden thread that connects all 17 of the UN SDGs. With the two initiatives CORE (off-grid) and GEAR (on-grid), ICA believes it can effectively contribute to holistic and sustainable electrification efforts, creating a myriad of socio-economic benefits in Africa and beyond.


Asantys Components B2B online shop: one-stop-shop platform for premium solar components

As a German-based solar system integrator and EPC provider, Asantys Systems specialises in designing solar systems to meet energy requirements, offering high-quality system components at the best prices and implementing projects quickly and cost-effectively, including engineering, logistics, installation and project management for clients in Africa, Asia and Latin America.

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In 2022, after 13 years of implementing successful project in more than 55 countries and delivering more than 7,600 solar systems worldwide, Asantys Systems has adapted its business model to the matured solar markets it is serving and now provides an additional sales channel: Asantys Components online shop.

Asantys Components is a B2B online shop offering quality solar components for registered professional companies in the solar industry which generally handle all engineering services in-house and do not require technical support from Asantys. Nevertheless, the customer benefits from Asantys product selection, best pricing due to bulk orders and experience in logistics. This new easy-to-handle online shop is a ready tool allowing the customer to order a wide range of premium solar components from quality manufacturers in a wholesale environment at best possible prices.

The available products on the online shop currently are PV and battery inverters, batteries, solar modules, charge controllers, monitoring products and further accessories. Currently represented brands are SMA, JA Solar, Eco Delta and Victron. Many more will follow in the next months.

Online shop customers benefit from a simple and transparent pricing system with loyalty programme advantages. Furthermore, the shop offers customers a quote and order management system, which allows a transparent order process. Additionally, the Asantys logistics team provides various services and enables the delivery of all products from different categories or suppliers in one consolidated shipment.

The objective is to become a one-stop shop platform where solar companies can buy everything needed from A to Z to build their own solar projects.

For this, Asantys will add products for PV-racking, balance of systems, installation tools, mini-grid distribution equipment, lighting products, diesel generators, productive use of energy appliances and many more to the online shop over time.

This unique solar online shop allows customers to centrally procure premium products at the best prices and benefit from a quicker turnaround including cost-effective logistics.

At Asantys we work to provide clean, secure and affordable energy for everybody, especially in developing countries. With this in mind, the online shop aims to increase the accessibility of premium solar components to experienced solar companies.


Climate change & the current geopolitical situation encourage the use of the sunlight pump, a solar-powered surface solar pump

Irrigation systems powered by strong and efficient solar water pumps have a positive impact on livelihoods. When agricultural productivity is increased through smart irrigation and without incurring operating costs, household income increases. Social welfare is thus promoted while dependence on expensive fossil fuels is reduced.

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ennos, a Swiss based company, contributes to these goals with the development and distribution of the sunlight pump models. Currently, we are active in 20 countries in Africa, in almost 10 countries in Latin America and a few countries in Asia.

Fuel prices have increased enormously in most countries due to the geopolitical situation. Solar pumps, which run for free on solar energy, are therefore very attractive. And unlike diesel pumps, which are often used to flood fields, solar pumps are used to irrigate in a targeted and sensible manner and do not waste water unnecessarily.

Our local dealers benefit from the expansion of the sunlight pump to their product portfolio. They can offer their customers a reliable surface solar water pump. Our models are characterised by enormously low maintenance and long durability.

Key components of the sunlight pump models:

0.5HP sunlight pump

0.5HP; 22m3 l/d; > 40m TDH; 100-500 W Input Power; 14 kg; eccentric screw pump


2HP sunlight pump

2HP; 210 m3 l/d; 20m TDH; 1,800-2,000W input power, 30 kg; centrifugal pump (soon in the market)

Common features of both sunlight pump models:

Motor: highly efficient, maintenance-free DC brushless motor, with a durability of 10-15 years

Controller: fully integrated on top of the motor, avoiding faulty connections. Combined flow and pressure sensors detect dry run and the processor enables functions as Bluetooth connection and cloud services.

The 0.5HP sunlight pump has been on the market since 2016. Meanwhile, we are pleased to receive reports from our dealers of satisfied end customers who have seen yield increases of between 60 and 200% through the use of the sunlight pump. The increase in yield is mainly due to the fact that farmers (who previously irrigated manually) can now not only harvest twice a year, but also grow crops outside of the rainy season. The farmers who switched from diesel to our solar water pump no longer have daily operating costs and can significantly save money and time. This additional income is used especially for school fees, medical bills, paying farm workers and buying inputs.


The sunlight pump system has greatly improved the family’s well-being by reducing manual labour at the field and at home. Before, women and children used to fetch water from a source about 1-2 km away to irrigate the fields and for domestic use. With the sunlight pump system, water has been brought closer. The long, tiring walks to fetch water, usually twice a day, are eliminated. The time gained can be used for weeding, household and learning.

Check our website for further information and more application cases.

Contact: | WhatsApp: +41 79 215 45 24


Ren Electron and the will to be an active part in the rural electrification process

Ren Electron was founded in 2006, operates in the renewable energy production market and offers the most advanced solutions for residential and commercial segments, large installations, and photovoltaic greenhouses for which it has achieved a significant and recognised specialisation.

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The company, ISO 9001/2015 certified, has its own headquarters in Italy, but operates all over the world.

Ren Electron has its in-house team of professionals, dynamic and competent engineers and architects, that have allowed the company to develop projects over the years, obtaining specific authorisations for the construction of tens of MW from various competent public administrations.

During the year 2012 Ren Electron has expanded its offer and expertise in the small-wind sector by offering wind turbines with sizes of power up to 250 kW.

Our turbines are a perfect match for the power supply needs in rural areas. Paying attention to the natural conditions of the installation site, wind turbines have an excellent cost / benefit ratio. In particular, our products have a robust, reliable and advantageous design in terms of performance, availability and relative reduced maintenance.

Ren Wind small-scale wind turbines are available with 60-, 100-, 200- and 250-kW average power.

Products certifications and quality assurance are able to satisfy the most demanding clients and investors’ needs: excellence, reliability and high-level performance are the main strengths of our range.

Recently Ren Electron has begun to contribute to the energy distributed in South America through the installation of the first REN WIND 250 which will represent our case study to be able to replicate the project for other customers. We believe that the most interesting sizes for rural areas could be with powers lower than 100 kW, but our technical department has experience and skills to evaluate the right power to install.

Ren Electron is always available to meet people interested in learning more about its technology, hoping to be able to satisfy the needs with the advantage that its engineering will be able to study every single application case and size it in the appropriate way.

We strongly want to participate in the process of energy distribution in rural areas, our aim is to be actors and not simply an audience.


  • GET.invest Finance Readiness Support presents first companies while launching new support rounds

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    Locally owned and managed companies are key to sustainable and universal energy access, as they are close to the end customers and play an important role in a just energy transition. Hence, GET.invest launched the pilot phase of its Finance Readiness Support last November implemented by eight advisory firms and supported by various core partners, among them ARE. The service aims to unlock financing for early-stage local clean energy companies. The first advisory round started in February 2022 with a cohort of 13 companies from East, West, and Southern Africa. Of these, half are on the UN’s list of least-developed countries (UN LDCs) and two-thirds are majority owned or managed by women.

    For instance, one of the companies receiving support is Millennium Engineers, a 100% women-owned and women-led company. This Tanzanian firm replaces hazardous kerosene fishing lamps with affordable leased solar LED lanterns while employing local women to operate lantern charging hubs that simultaneously power a solar fish drying facility. Another client in the cohort is Energy+, the only locally owned solar PAYGO company in Mali. In the field of e-mobility, BODAWERK from Uganda merges energy, mobility and agriculture, and aims to develop Africa’s first battery Gigafactory. KYA Energy Group from Togo is another interesting client which delivers Solar Home Systems (SHS) to hospitals and schools.

    The different requirements and market segments of the service’s comprehensive list of companies warrant a wide range of expertise. Depending on the current need of each business, the advisory firms customise the technical assistance offered to each client, such as corporate restructuring, financial modelling, market positioning, operations and process optimisation, credit risk management, among others. The market segments included are manifold: productive use of energy, PAYGO-enabled SHS, renewable energy-powered mini-grids, e-mobility, and commercial and industrial (C&I).

    Going forward, GET.invest expects to welcome up to 24 additional clients, including eight from Mozambique, in the second and third rounds of the Finance Readiness Support this year. The service is part of GET.invest’s efforts to mobilise investment in decentralised renewable energy, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands, and Austria.

    These are all 13 companies supported by the GET.invest Finance Readiness Support: BM Solutions (Benin); Deevabits, Baridi; Energy+ (Mali); Digitech (Mozambique); ICE Commercial, Ventura (Nigeria); HOBUKA (Rwanda); Millenium Engineers (Tanzania); KYA Energy Group (Togo); Bodawerk, All in Trade (Uganda) and Natfort Energy (Zimbabwe).

  • 15th Microgrid Global Innovation Forum (London | 13-15 Sep)

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    The 15th edition of the Microgrid Global Innovation Forum, 13-15 September 2022 in London, focuses on microgrid advances, case studies and applications in Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific, and Latin America. Organised by the Smart Grid Observer, the event draws hundreds of industry professionals from around the world interested in maximising the effective use of renewable and distributed energy resources, refining the positive business model for microgrid deployments, and sharing real-world case studies in both grid-tied and off-grid/remote environments.

    Topics to be covered include: 

    • Microgrid feasibility, design, and implementation
    • Refining the business case for off-grid, remote, and island microgrids
    • Solar + storage advances
    • Project financing and investor perspectives
    • Determining the correct technology mix for hybrid energy systems
    • Advanced battery, fuel cell, and flow battery technologies
    • Microgrid power control, management, and integration
    • Integrating distributed renewable energy resources into the grid
    • Effective project evaluation, implementation, and management
    • Regulatory and public policy advances
    • Standards and interoperability issues
    • Market drivers and opportunities worldwide
    • Utilising renewables-centric microgrids to achieve climate change goals
    • and more

    ARE is a media partner of the forum. ARE Members get 20% discount.

    Register here

  • Unite with APAC industry leaders at Reuters Events: Energy Transition Asia Pacific 2022

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    Energy transition is firmly rooted at the forefront of business and government agendas. After the success of the inaugural event last year, Reuters Events: Energy Transition Asia Pacific returns in 2022, taking place on November 30 – December 1 (Online). The event will unite 2,000+ CEOs, experts and key public and private sector leaders and decision makers from across the energy industry to tackle the defining issue of our time and deliver the strategy for a low carbon future.

    Hear the exclusive insights of 40+ CXO representatives from the major oil & gas companies, utilities, renewables, investors, intergovernmental bodies, ministers, and key leaders from across the region, as they establish a net zero strategy and chart the path forward, bridging the gap between countries leading the energy transition across Asia Pacific, and those with vast amounts of potential. Key themes for the event include policy regulation and reporting, security access and supply, stability affordability and financing, key transition technologies and electrification infrastructure and grid.

    The event will be held virtually, making it easy and accessible to attend.

    It will be attended by key decision makers and industry leaders from across APAC and the world to tackle these core energy transition challenges with world-class experts, hear about where investment and growth opportunities lie, and to network and form partnerships with new and existing clients and customers.

    Register today – spaces are limited.

  • Call for Papers: OFF-GRID Expo + Conference (10 Sep)

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    Only three months to go until the OFF-GRID Expo + Conference 2022. As a conference partner, we are particularly looking forward to this two-day event on 1-2 December 2022 - not only because it is the only congress trade fair in Europe that focuses on the off-grid solar, wind and hydropower systems sector, but also because it is the highlight to top off the end of the year for the entire industry. And no wonder: international experts can meet here and exchange exciting reports of their experiences in the field, demonstrate examples of practical applications and present the latest trends and innovations.

    The conference is the central part of the OEC besides the trade fair and the supporting programme. In 2022, top-class speakers will once again present the latest developments and information from the off-grid sector to the visitors. This year, the conference will feature six panels on current topics:

    • Innovative cooling applications with off-grid technologies
    • Decentralised renewable energies and e-mobility
    • Women entrepreneurs as key players in the off-grid renewable energy sector
    • Water – energy – food: a path-breaking nexus for global development
    • Innovative financing as a catalyst for rural electrification with off-grid technologies
    • Energy storage solutions – for an uninterrupted energy supply


    Do you have an interesting topic to contribute and would like to participate as a speaker? Then submit your Call for Papers by 10 September 2022!

    A strong network in the sector

    The exhibitors and partners who regularly attend OFF-GRID Expo + Conference form a strong network for the industry, and the partners in particular are a central pillar of the OEC.

    Would you like to find out who will be attending apart from us? Why not view the current list of exhibitors and partners! Some renowned off-grid companies will be back again at the OEC 2022. Join us and network with the key players in the industry!

  • ARE shortlisted as finalist of the Association Excellence Awards

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    The Association Excellence Awards salute, celebrate and encourage the vital work that associations, trade bodies, professional organisations and chartered institutes do for and on behalf of their members to ensure their voices are heard and their causes are championed.

    We are thrilled to be elected as a finalist for the all-industry Association Excellence Awards 2022: "International Association of the Year"!

  • Acceleration of renewable electrification investments at EAIF in Dar es Salaam

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    The three-day Energy Access Investment Forum (EAIF) took place in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania on 28-30 June 2022. The DRE industry and investors came together to participate in the two-track programme, lively exhibition, GET.invest Matchmaking sessions, and receptions. Supported by the European Union and GET.invest, EAIF 2022 attracted over 1,200 participants including private and public investors, industry representatives and public officials. The event was sponsored by AfDB, ENGIE Energy Access, Sagemcom, Schneider Electric, TCX, WaterKiosk, AECF, BAE Batterien, BURN, D-REC Initiative, NRECA International, Okra Solar, Phaesun, and REPP.

    Together with GET.invest - a European programme that mobilises investment in renewable energy in developing countries, supported by the European Union, Germany, Sweden, the Netherlands and Austria - ARE facilitated over 520 scheduled matchmaking meetings between investors, technology providers, project developers, as well as development partners and innovators in the DRE sector.

    The Forum was opened with high-level welcome remarks emphasising the importance of accelerating efforts to achieve a higher uptake of DRE from the Tanzanian Minister of Energy, Hon. January Yusuf Makamba, AfDB, IRENA, ARE, as well as Manfredo Fanti, Ambassador, Delegation of the European Union to Tanzania who said: “The EU sees catalysing private sector investments in DRE as a critical part of the EU Global Gateway strategy enabling sustainable energy connections that work for the people and the planet. As a follow-up to the EU-Africa Business Forum in February, EAIF is a perfect occasion for public and private investors, industry, governments and other stakeholders to contribute to this objective and develop business partnerships. On that note, the EU is proud to partner with ARE for this year’s edition of the EAIF.”

    Read the press release

  • Carbon financing in the DRE sector

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    In its sixth event under the PWCET series, ARE and Green People’s Energy (GBE) organised a discussion with various stakeholders on "Carbon Financing in the Decentralised Renewable Energy Sector" on 24 August 2022.

    The discussion focused on "Carbon Finance" as an innovative financial mechanism. A special emphasis was given to the Voluntary Carbon Markets (VCM), which reached 1 billion USD in 2021 and expected to reach 150 billion USD globally in 10 years. 

    Nearly 300 participants tuned in to hear from experts and companies with experience in 'carbon finance' to raise capital for DRE projects. The interventions were followed by a moderated panel discussion including interaction with the audience.

    [Watch the recording]

  • Lending a voice to DRE companies at the G20 Energy Transitions Investment Forum

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    The first-ever Investment Forum organised by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) took place from 31 August to 1 September 2022 in Bali. Co-hosted by Indonesia in the margin of its G20 Presidency Energy Transition Ministerial, the joint forum aimed to mobilise energy transition investment, ease access to finance and accelerate renewable energy projects in the Southeast Asian region.

    ARE CEO David Lecoque shared lessons learnt from DRE companies, stressed the need to tailor regulatory frameworks and attract adequate finance to meet electricity access goals as well as ARE’s drive to scale up its work and further develop impactful partnerships across and B2B cooperation with South and South-East Asia.

    Watch the session

  • Register now: Innovation for Electrification: Premium Power Components (Virtual | 8 Sep)

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    Join our third showcase event on premium power components under the Innovation for Electrification (I4E) Series on 8 September 2022 at 14:00 - 15:30 CEST!

    DRE based technologies can improve electricity access to remote and dispersed communities. However, the long-term sustainability of DRE projects depends largely on the technology used, as electrification in remote areas is often constrained by technical barriers. Energy systems are composed of multiple components act in concertation and in relation to each other to ensure quality, reliability and availability of electric power. Integrating premium power components as part of a system design, therefore, becomes a necessity for DRE project developers. 

    The 90-minute webinar on Premium Power Components will feature presentations on power components, related applications and experiences from projects from ARE Members.

    Register here

  • Register now: Burundi Energy Access Days (Bujumbura | 4-5 Oct)

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    ARE and the Burundi Renewable Energy Association (BUREA), with the support of GET.invest Burundi, financed by the European Union and part of GET.invest, will organise the Burundi Renewable Energy Day on 5 October 2022. The event will be held as part of the Burundi Energy Access Days organised with the World Bank on 4-5 October 2022, under the patronage of the Government of Burundi, the Ministry of Hydraulics, Energy and Mines (MHEM) and the Directorate General of Energy.

    The Burundi Renewable Energy Day on 5 October will include a session on investment opportunities and private sector pitches on innovative renewable energy projects in Burundi.

    It will also include a networking session, an award ceremony and an exhibition! 

    The event will take place in-person in Bujumbura and will be held in French.

    Register here

  • International Energy Transition Week Nigeria (Abuja | 31 Oct – 4 Nov)

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    The International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA), the ECOWAS Center for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency (ECREEE), with support from Government of Nigeria are delighted to invite you to the International Energy Transition Week Nigeria (IETW Nigeria) on 31 October – 4 November 2022 in Abuja, Nigeria.

    There will be three on-site events and an exhibition to showcase innovative products and services on energy provision through the entire week:

    • ECOWAS Sustainable Energy Forum (31 Oct - 1 Nov)
    • West Africa Investment Forum (2 Nov)
    • International Off-grid Renewable Energy Conference & Exhibition (3 - 4 Nov)

    IETW Nigeria aims to catalyse public sector, business and investor partnerships, exchange information, provide a platform for sharing best practices and raise awareness on global progress made on SDG-7. Key participants include policymakers and representatives from private sector, NGOs, academia, financing institutions, and international organisations.

    ARE is the industry partner of IETW Nigeria and organiser of the exhibition.

    Interested in exhibiting? Download our exhibition pack

  • Business Conference - Renewables in Mozambique 2022 (Maputo | 7-8 Dec)

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    The “Business Conference - Renewables in Mozambique 2022” organised by AREALER and AMER and supported by GET.invest Mozambique – funded by the European Union and Germany, and part of the European programme GET.invest – will take place in Maputo, Mozambique on 7-8 Dec 2022.

    The business conference aims to bring Mozambique to the centre stage to discuss the development in the renewable energy sector in the country, enable cooperation between national and international stakeholders and facilitate increased investments to achieve universal energy access - all with a targeted aim to create a more dynamic and competitive Mozambican renewable energy market.

    Registrations opening soon

  • CORE: Cornerstone of Rural Electrification Position Paper

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    The solution to the sustainability challenge lies with the skills of the local workforce, which must be strengthened to deal with the monumental increase in decentralised electrification needs in the years to come. A recent survey with DRE industry players indicated that more than 70% of companies have difficulties in finding skilled local field staff.

    With this in mind, the Cornerstone of Rural Electrification Initiative, CORE, is established jointly by ARE, ICA, IRENA, SEforALL, UNEP and UNIDO to address the immense capacity building and technical assistance needs to support the development of DRE systems as a means to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals.

  • IRENA: Renewable Power Generation Costs in 2021

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    The global weighted average cost of newly commissioned solar photovoltaic (PV), onshore and offshore wind power projects fell in 2021. This was despite rising materials and equipment costs, given that there is a significant lag in the pass-through to total installed costs.

    The global weighted average levelised cost of electricity (LCOE) of new onshore wind projects added in 2021 fell by 15%, year‑on‑year, to USD 0.033/kWh, while that of new utility-scale solar PV fell by 13% year-on-year to USD 0.048/kWh and that of offshore wind declined 13% to USD 0.075/kWh. With only one concentrating solar power (CSP) plant commissioned in 2021, the LCOE rose 7% year-on-year to USD 0.114/kWh.

    The period 2010 to 2021 has witnessed a seismic improvement in the competitiveness of renewables. The global weighted average LCOE of newly commissioned utility‑scale solar PV projects declined by 88% between 2010 and 2021, whilst that of onshore wind fell by 68%, CSP by 68% and offshore wind by 60%.

  • SolarPower Europe: Engineering, Procurement & Construction: Best Practices Guidelines

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    The EU has set a target of reducing its greenhouse gas emissions by 55% from 1990 levels, by 2030. In its 100% Renewable Europe study, SolarPower Europe estimates that, to achieve this, an extra 870 GW of solar PV installations are required by the same year. To maintain public trust and investor confidence in PV technology, installations must be built according to high-quality standards that will ensure they run effectively and reliably over their lifecycle. Putting the best processes in place and getting the fundamentals right during the project design, engineering, procurement, and construction phases is key to driving down costs and improving reliability.

    The second edition of SolarPower Europe’s Engineering, Procurement and Construction (EPC) Best Practice Guidelines follows the O&M Best Practice Guidelines and is produced through the Lifecycle Quality Workstream. This document is the result of a year of intensive work by over 25 leading solar experts from 20 companies.

Please note that views expressed in the Co-Editorial, the In Focus section and the Special Feature of the newsletter, are those of the contributors and do not necessarily reflect ARE’s opinion.

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