What is the Off-Grid Solar Scorecard?

The Off Grid Solar Scorecard promotes sustainable and circular design in the global Off- Grid solar industry.

Solar PV is proving enormously important in expanding access to sustainable energy across the Global South. An estimated 44.2 million pico-solar devices - solar lanterns and home systems of 10 watts or less - were sold in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia between 2011 and 2015, according to the Global Off Grid Lighting Association.

But what makes a solar powered lighting device that has been designed for use by people living without access to mains electricity a sustainable technology? 

The Off-Grid Solar Scorecard is an online tool that allows anybody to evaluate the sustainability of a pico-solar device by simply trying to take it apart. 

 

Our Vision

The Scorecard was launched in 2016 by the University of Edinburgh and the Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition to promote sustainable and circular design in the global Off-Grid solar industry.

We believe that sustainable solar futures in Sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia will depend upon the design and manufacture of solar powered products that can be repaired and re-used, re-cycled or up-cycled. The grading system is based upon Design for Environment (DfE) and Design for Disassembly (DfD) principals. 

Over the next two years, we aim to use the Scorecard as a platform to promote principals of sustainable and circular design in the Off-Grid solar industry.

 

Industry Engagement

The Off-Grid Solar Scorecard grading system is the outcome of consultation with stakeholders from across the off grid solar industry and has been endorsed by international solar distribution companies as well as advocates of 'technology justice.'

The scorecard directly answers a call to action on environmental and social sustainability across the value chain that emerged from the Global Off Grid Lighting Association's 2015 Conference and the University of Edinburgh's 2015 conference on Solar Waste.

Over the next two years, we aim to use the Scorecard as a platform to promote principals of sustainable and circular design across the off grid solar industry. 

 

Lighting Global Certification

The Off-Grid Solar Scorecard has been developed to work alongside and extend the World Bank's Lighting Global quality assurance standards.

Solar lighting products that are Lighting Global Certified meet minimum standards for product quality, performance, durability, wiring, lighting output, truth in advertising and customer warranties. These standards are the basis for the International Electrotechnical Commission's recommendations for the procurement and purchase of portable solar photovoltaic lanterns. 

The Off Grid Solar Scorecard extends these standards by offering anybody a tool to evaluate products as users might at the point of purchase, based on available protocols for sustainable design.

 

Our Sponsors

The Off-Grid Solar Scorecard was developed with funding from the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, through its Impact Acceleration Award scheme.