Sudan’s First ‘Solar Lab’ Launched in Khartoum

The United Nations Development Program (UNDP) has announced the launch of a new joint Sudanese Standards and Metrology Organisation (SSMO) and UNDP Solar Lab in Khartoum. The lab will provide testing and certification services for solar technology in a bid to support Sudan’s solar revolution.

Funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF), UNDP, SSMO, and the Ministry of Energy and Mining, the core function of the lab is to ensure the quality and longevity of imported solar systems and provide efficient products for Sudanese users.

“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.”

In addition to funding, the SSMO and the Ministry have contributed a team of technical experts and engineers, as well as land and equipment for the Lab’s operation. Supported with UNDP training, this team will provide testing to guarantee the quality, authenticity and reliability of the imported solar products.

SSMO is a Sudanese government entity that currently operates 15 testing and certification laboratories across Sudan. Adding solar technology expands SSMO’s mandate and expertise, ahead of the UNDP/GEF roll-out of 1,469 solar-powered water irrigation pumps to farms in Northern State by 2021.

UNDP Sudan’s Resident Representative, Selva Ramachandran, noted, “solar energy can unlock economic potential throughout the country by breaking the reliance on petroleum products and boost the economy. By taking into consideration the impacts of Covid-19, solar energy is a way to progress development and strengthen the economy, in which the Solar Lab is a crucial step.”

Through an alignment with UNDP’s objectives, the new Solar Lab is expected to drive solar energy in agriculture, transport, housing, and infrastructure, with further objectives to reduce climate impact and reliance on imported fossil fuels, generate livelihoods and increase Sudan’s economic potential.