6 July 2020, KHARTOUM: A joint Sudanese Standards and Metrology Organization (SSMO)/ UNDP ‘Solar Lab’ launched today in Khartoum, providing testing and certification services for solar energy technology. The lab’s core function is to ensure the quality and longevity of imported solar systems, and support Sudan’s solar revolution.
In a large and high sunshine hours country like Sudan, solar energy offers significant opportunities and a way to rebuild better post-COVID-19.
"The opening of this facility constitutes a great leap forward in the renewable energy sector in Sudan,” said Dr Omar Abdullah Ibrahim, Director of Planning and Studies at SSMO.
“The establishment of the laboratory and the setting of standards for solar energy systems enables SSMO to ensure that imported solar systems conform to the approved technical and environmental standards.”
With many of Sudan’s imported solar systems being refurbished, testing guarantees the quality, authenticity and reliability of these products, which will provide up to 20 years of renewable energy for Sudanese users.
The Solar Lab, funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP, SSMO and Ministry of Energy and Mining, will test and certify 20-30 imported solar panels, systems and solar-powered water pumps per day – with thousands already destined for Sudan’s agricultural sector.
The lab’s establishment follows the creation of national, globally-aligned solar technical standards by the SSMO, and will also support solar technology research and technical improvements.
“Sudan has an opportunity for a solar revolution, transforming agriculture, transport and many other sectors,” said Selva Ramachandran, UNDP Sudan’s Resident Representative.
“Solar energy can unlock economic potential, break reliance on petroleum products with their fuel and subsidy costs, create jobs, boost productivity and protect the environment. In Northern State, an agricultural solar power trial increased productivity and land use by almost 50%, while eliminating fuel costs, and crop loss due to limited fuel supply.”
Ramachandran continues: “Facing the socioeconomic impacts of COVID-19, we must build forward. Solar energy is one way to make that happen, and the Solar Lab is a crucial step.”
In addition to funding, SSMO and the Ministry have contributed a team of technical experts and engineers for the lab’s operation – supported with UNDP training – as well as land and equipment. Additional engineers from the University of Khartoum have been trained and will be involved in the lab’s operations.