Universal and sustainable electricity access

Getting clean and affordable electricity to those who need it the most

Rural electrification

The  UN sustainable development goal (SDG) 7 underlines the need for universal access to affordable, reliable, and sustainable energy services for all by 2030. It estimates that around 13 % of the world's population still lacks access to electricity.
Several affordable technical solutions are available to bring off-grid electricity to populations who would otherwise have to wait many years for a grid connection. The IEC provides the technical foundation for most off-grid installations that can be expanded and later connected to the main grid. Several IEC Ttechnical Committees prepare standards which facilitate rural electrification. IEC TC 82 issues a series of technical specifications (TS) that make recommendations for small renewable hybrid systems for rural electrification. The series was developed in cooperation with public, private and academic institutions. It is recognized by the World Bank and the United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO). The TC has formed a joint working group with IEC TC 21: Secondary cells and batteries and publishes standards relating to batteries for on-grid and off-grid energy storage.
Low voltage direct current (LVDC) is one of the technologies particularly relevant for rural electrification. Today's electronic and battery-driven devices, including LED, mobile phones, or laptops, all use direct current (DC). Since power generated using the sun, wind, or water is DC, LVDC can be used to directly power lighting, and household devices in rural and remote settings in a particularly energy efficient way. The IEC systems committee for LVDC, SyC LVDC is coordinating the work of all relevant TCs to make this technology safe, reliable and affordable.

Standards also serve as the basis for testing and certification of components, devices, and systems. IEC runs four Conformity Assessment Systems, which verify whether a product or device works according to the requirements in IEC Standards.

IECRE focuses on renewable energy systems.
IECEE verifies lighting, household devices, PV modules, etc.

Rural electrification and universal electricity access

This brochure outlines the global challenges related to energy access. It offers detailed explanations about the IEC 62257 series that provides a planned and tested approach for rural electrification projects.

LVDC: electricity for the 21st century

Low voltage direct current (LVDC) is a disruptive technology that fundamentally accelerates energy access and improves energy efficiency.

Electricity access, more than a promise: LVDC

The applications for LVDC are wide and varied and apply in every country in the world.
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IEC is paving the way for these new technologies by developing and publishing a wide number of standards.

Electricity generating capacity is expanding to meet growing worldwide demand.

Renewable energies represent a fast-growing percentage of electricity generation.

Nuclear power plants (NPPs) produce an important proportion of the world's electricity. 

Storing energy is becoming ever more important as our demand for electricity increases.

IEC is forging a path for this global transformation with the required international standards.

Distributed energy resources are a way of increasing energy efficiency and improving grid resilience.

Getting clean and modern electricity to those who need it the most with the help of the IEC.

One of the most important ways of helping us to save energy is by implementing energy efficiency measures.

Renewable energy generates direct current and we use direct current in our homes to power many of our devices, from LED lights to mobile phones.

IEC publications help them to meet the various technical challenges they unavoidably face moving forward.