On May 16, 2016, the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program (CESP) - an American National Standards Institute (ANSI) initiative with the support of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) - held the "Electrical Safety for Clean Energy Systems" workshop in Cape Town, South Africa.
ANSI collaborated with the National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA) as its primary technical expert, as well as members of the IEEE National Electrical Safety Code (NESC) committee and Power Africa, to organize the workshop to share relevant U.S. expertise on electrical safety. Electrical safety has emerged as a key priority as access to reliable electricity sources is a growing concern for many sub-Sahara African countries.
The event highlighted the importance of robust quality infrastructure to ensure the safe generation, distribution, transmission, management, and use of electricity across the continent. Speakers emphasized the United States' role as a leader in the development of a globally relevant, interlocking system of electrical safety installation codes, product standards, testing, and verification processes that are available for African countries to adopt and use without having to go through the same trial and error process. U.S.-Africa cooperation on these standards will also generate opportunities for U.S. providers of electrical products and services to enter or expand in the African market - a total export opportunity valued at more than $119 million in 2015.
ANSI and the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program (CESP)
The Cape Town event was the first of four workshops to be coordinated by ANSI under the U.S.-Africa CESP in 2016. The three remaining workshop will focus on a wide range of technologies and challenges in the clean energy space. Proposed topics include off-grid solar, energy storage, and smart metering. ANSI will work with Power Africa, relevant industry associations, and USTDA to finalize the focus of the three upcoming workshops.
The CESP provides a platform for industry to cooperate on standardization issues relevant to clean energy technologies, and build the relationships necessary for further technical exchange. The project also supports Power Africa's objective of working with African stakeholders to connect more of the African population to the electricity grid.
Organizations interested in co-sponsoring a CESP workshop are invited to complete the commercial benefit questionnaire here for review and approval by ANSI and USTDA.
For more information on the U.S.-Africa CESP and the "Electrical Safety for Clean Energy Systems" workshop, including access to the presentations, agenda, and flyer, please visit www.standardsportal.org/us-africacesp.
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