Off-grid industry association comes to life

Philips, a manufacturer of off-grid lighting solutions, explains how its products work during the last Lighting Africa conference. Now off-grid manufacturers have come together to shape the future of the nascent off-grid industry. © Lighting Africa

Philips, a manufacturer of off-grid lighting solutions, explains how its products work during the last Lighting Africa conference. Now off-grid manufacturers have come together to shape the future of the nascent off-grid industry. © Lighting Africa

The Global Off-Grid Lighting Association (GOGLA) is now operational. The off-grid lighting industry association inaugurated its first Board of Director mid-June, with Dr. Harald Schützeichel of SunTransfer elected President, and Wolfgang Gregor, the Secretary General.

The inauguration of the GOGLA Board signals a move by the industry to take leadership and proactively shape the young industry’s future by engaging with other stakeholders such as governments and development partners to secure an enabling business environment.

“It’s time to open up the off-grid market worldwide and to eliminate market barriers for the benefit of all the people who still do not have access to clean, sustainable and affordable light,” the President and Secretary General said at the inaugural Board meeting held in June.

Other members of the inaugural GOGLA Board are the Sierra Leonean Energy for Opportunity, USA’s d.light Design, India’s Greenlight Planet, the Dutch company Philips, and France’s TOTAL.

The board’s incorporation is timely as recently published studies such as IFC’s ‘From Gap to Opportunity’ highlight the massive untapped potential and viability of the nascent energy-for-the-poor sector. IFC values the global market for clean lighting and cooking at USD37 billion.

GOGLA has already won the support of the US Department of Energy which said the Association’s mission was well aligned to the Global Lighting and Energy Access Partnership (Global LEAP) and the UN Sustainable Energy for All initiative.

“GOGLA and its members are well positioned to make important contributions to the effort to increase energy access and reduce global poverty in years to come,” the Deputy Assistant Secretary for Climate Policy, Rick Duke said in a letter to the Association.

The off-grid lighting association brings together companies and organizations with a wealth of experiences in providing innovative yet affordable lighting solutions to communities without access to electricity. GOGLA’s seven key objectives:-

  1. Promote the advancement of clean modern off-grid lighting for the industry in its entirety, representing global interests and servicing local needs by acting as a uniform industry voice.
  2. Encourage, promote and preserve a high standard of professional integrity and ethics amongst those active in the field of off-grid lighting.
  3. Provide a forum for the exchange of information, best practices for technology, experiences and opinions in matters of common and particular interest to members.
  4. Support the implementation of an established harmonized international quality standard, including the management of an international quality seal, advocacy and promotion.
  5. Address environmental issues such as waste collection, recycling and emissions, tracking global trends and synergies.
  6. Working on reduction of policy and regulatory barriers that are perceived as impediments by industry to enable a greater and more open market.
  7. Encourage ongoing research and development in off-grid lighting and off-grid lighting standards and to facilitate dissemination of information on off-grid lighting matters.

For further information on how to become actively involved and membership please contact them through info@gogla.org or visit www.gogla.org.