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ANSI Holds Energy Storage Workshop under U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program in South Africa


On February 28, 2017, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), with the support of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency (USTDA) initiative the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program (CESP), held the "U.S.-South Africa Workshop on Energy Storage Standards, Conformance and Technology" in Johannesburg, South Africa. The workshop was attended by 48 energy storage experts, regulators, and implementers.

ANSI collaborated with the South African Industrial Development Corporation (IDC), Power Africa, the South African Bureau of Standards (SABS), and a variety of U.S. and South African experts to organize the workshop, held at the Radisson Blu Gautrain Hotel. Speakers from the UYilo Programme, IDC, SABS, National Fire Protection Association (NFPA), National Electrical Manufacturers Association (NEMA), and Underwriters Laboratory (UL) provided presentations covering energy storage standards, conformance, and current technology developments.

Presentations from the workshop can be found on the CESP web site:

The South African Energy Storage Market

Energy is the life blood of a strong and efficient economy, with impacts spanning across industry sectors. To date, no country has developed its economy without abundant and affordable energy. This fact does not bode well for sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), which faces a massive shortage in energy capacity. With a combined population of one billion people, SSA generates roughly the same amount of power as South Korea, with a population of 50 million. While many SSA nations are racing to ramp up energy capacity, energy storage systems present an opportunity to augment electricity supplies by increasing the viability and affordability of renewable energies.

The potential for energy storage systems is particularly relevant in South Africa as the nation attempts to decrease its heavy dependence on coal-powered energy. Currently, coal-powered electricity accounts for nearly 77 percent of the country's electrical supply. This dependence coupled with high greenhouse gas emissions and high electricity demands have compelled South Africa to invest in renewable energy sources.

Energy storage promotes an enabling environment for clean energy. If deployed effectively, energy storage can make the delivery of off-grid energy a reliable and cost-effective option for millions across South Africa.

Installation codes, standards, and conformity assessment form the foundation for safe and interoperable electrical systems. As South African utilities, independent power producers (IPPs), and residential property owners consider deployment of energy storage systems, relevant authorities must have the necessary understanding to evaluate these technologies to ensure safety and promote reliability. For this reason, standards are a foundational component to build out South African electrical systems, including distributed generation.

ANSI and the U.S.-Africa Clean Energy Standards Program (CESP)

This event was the third of four workshops coordinated by ANSI under the U.S.-Africa CESP in its initial phase. The remaining workshop will likely focus on off-grid solutions in West Africa.

The CESP provides a platform for industry and government representatives from the U.S. and SSA 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 objectives, including connecting more of the African population to the electrical 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 "Solar Mini-Grids Workshop: Regulatory Framework and Quality Assurance" workshop, including access to the presentations, agenda, and flyer, please visit


Jana Zabinski

Senior Director, Communications & Public Relations


[email protected]

Beth Goodbaum

Journalist/Communications Specialist


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