Welcome to the LVDC Conference on Sustainable Electricity Access!

About Us

Standardization can help millions access electricity

Everything from solar photovoltaics (PV), lighting (LED), electric vehicles (EVs) smart phones and tablets, battery operated devices and even household devices can now run on direct current (d.c.). Today this new reality, together with the challenges inherent to the traditional model of electricity generation and distribution via alternating current (a.c.) is fundamentally changing how electricity will be delivered to households all around the world.

LVDC can bridge the distance between the PV panel on the roof and the devices that consume power in the home. This can happen without conversion losses and is especially promising in areas where grid connection will remain a hopeless and expensive promise far into the future. LVDC networks are quick to erect, energy efficient and cost effective, enabling speedy electrification of homes and villages.

LVDC touches everything that uses electricity and IEC International Standards will help ensure that LVDC infrastructure is safe and reliable. They will allow regulators and systems administrators to benchmark systems from different vendors. They will also provide assurance to funding bodies, investors and insurers.

More than 150 experts from across the world have spent countless hours contributing their expertise and research to capture the potential of LVDC for energy access and a more sustainable energy future.  The IEC provides the technical framework for bringing electricity to even the remotest villages of our shared planet and to make energy greener and more sustainable in developed countries. Affordable and clean electricity is the live-blood of economies everywhere.

With this conference, the IEC aims to bring together all stakeholders in an effort to accelerate the roll-out of LVDC to bring affordable and clean electricity to all.

1.2 billion people in the world have no access to electricity and another 2.7 billion have very limited access. As a result these people also lack access to basic services, are largely excluded from modern communication and hampered in their ability to escape poverty. LVDC is one of the tools that will enable sustainable electricity access, off-grid, with the help of renewables.
We are already living in a d.c. world: all electronic and battery operated devices work with direct current. LVDC is probably one of the most disruptive technology developments the IEC has worked on in a very long time and will make a real difference to millions.

Africa is home to 1.2 billion people. Two-thirds of the population of sub-Saharan Africa – roughly 620 million people – live without electricity. The others who are connected to the grid often receive only a very limited amount of electricity for only a few hours a day. The IEC is hoping that this conference will help increase awareness about LVDC as an important tool to expand real and reliable access to electricity.
By bringing the conference to Africa, the IEC is also looking to fully understand local needs and requirements for electricity access in Africa. To bring solutions – including through standardization – that satisfy real market needs. One expected outcome, which would be initiated at the conference, is the development of key standardized indicators for performance and risk assessment that would allow regulators and system administrators to benchmark LVDC solutions from different vendors. Such global performance and risk assessment methodologies would also be essential for project funding organizations and insurers of LVDC installations.
Last but not least, the conference will point to opportunities for the growth of a local industry for electricity access. Currently d.c. powered home appliances such as refrigerators, ventilators, battery connected kettles and similar equipment are not available from big multinationals and they could provide a real economic opportunity for local companies.
The IEC is driving the development of LVDC, making this technology safe and broadly accessible. Holding this conference in Africa will provide a real understanding of electricity access needs to IEC experts and stakeholders.

Frans Vreeswijk, General Secretary & CEO of IEC

There is no doubt that around the world, developing countries are seeking to rapidly scale-up sustainable energy investments. This shift to sustainable energy is driven by a number of considerations, top most being the need to meet the fast growing energy demand. This becomes the driving force for standardization of Low Voltage Direct Current (LVDC).
The objectives of this conference are congruent with the United Nations Framework on Sustainable Development Goals, especially Goal 7, which addresses the issue, “Ensure access to affordable, reliable, sustainable and modern energy for all.
The LVDC conference at one level will be a thought leadership platform to effectively engage with policymakers and regulators. At another level, it will facilitate technology application and demonstration projects to gain techno-economic information needed to evolve LVDC standards and catalyze the technology’s commercialization.
LVDC has the potential to transform lives by helping millions of people gain access to electricity. Our role as the Kenya Bureau of Standards is to ensure availability of clean energy standards to the Kenyan people in line with internationally accepted standards.
Through this conference, the collaborative work of like-minded organizations and individuals will come together, in an open and neutral environment to build consensus at strategic points in a technology’s lifecycle. This conference also provides us a unique opportunity to leverage both IEC and KEBS resources to produce a variety of shared results.
There are many benefits for standardizing products from the electro-technical industry. The standards have been highly beneficial to the Kenyan economy as well as to the design, construction, procurement, maintenance and operating processes of the electricity industry.
I urge all stakeholders to register and attend the forum. We expect that LVDC will play an essential role in helping governments, industry and societies meet the rapidly increasing needs for energy, but with more efficient ‘green attributes.’ This will go a long way in positively influencing the electrical market development.
I take great pleasure in welcoming all delegates to the conference and assure you of a pleasant stay in Nairobi. Please plan some extra time to enjoy Kenya tourist sites and hospitality.

Charles Ongwae, Managing Director-Kenya Bureau of Standards

LVDC is to play a key role in the 21st Century, be it to replace fossil fuels with greener technologies, or bring electricity to the 1.2 billion people in the world who are deprived of it. It is difficult to come to terms with the fact that while man has been on the moon, and is now thinking of landing on Mars, a large number of our own fellow-citizens remains without any electricity at all. The United Nations’ SDG7 (sustainable development goal for affordable and clean energy) is all about bridging the gap between the haves and have-nots.
The first ever LVDC Conference on Sustainable Electricity Access is an endeavour to bring together varied stakeholders, from policy makers to NGOs, from technology gurus to industry experts, from systems engineers to funding agencies, to share their views about how to speed up the work on enabling energy access. The conference is likely to attract delegates from all over the world, and participation is free for accepted delegates.
I invite you to participate in the conference and energize the most significant of the SDGs to enable true energy access.

Vimal Mahendru, Chair, Organizing Committee and Chair, Systems Committee – IEC LVDC

The Kenya National Committee of the IEC, comprises of and represents all stakeholders in the country with products and/or services pertaining Electrotechnical.

Members are drawn from Electronics, Magnetics & Electromagnetism, Electro-acoustic, Multimedia, Telecommunication, Power Generation, Transmission & Distribution Utilities, Electromagnetism Compatibility, Measurement & Performance, Design & Development, Safety and Environment, Industry, Manufacturing, Learning Institutions (Academia), Government ministries concerned with Electrical & Electronics applications, Energy Regulators, Consultants and Contractors.

The committee addresses matters pertaining to Electrotechnical standards while providing Kenyan participation, commenting, voting and positioning at the IEC policy and management levels.

The main objective of the National Committee is to maximise the application and use of IEC Standards & Conformity Assessment Schemes in order to meet the International, Regional and Kenyan market requirements for standards efficiently while improving human health, safety and addressing environmental concerns.

KNCIEC represents IEC in Kenya and is, therefore, the host of the planned LVDC Conference on Electricity Access. I urge the stakeholders, the utilities, energy regulators, academia, government departments and related parastatals to register and plan to attend. There is valuable knowledge to be gained from the conference. Further, you shall have an opportunity to meet and interact with experts in various topics related to low voltage electricity access.

In Kenya, statistics show there are over 38 million mobile subscribers (90% of the population). Mobile chargers are part of Low Voltage connecting devices in present day life requiring access to electricity. Such connections require adherence to relevant standards so to ensure safety to persons and equipment. The Conference shall discuss our local needs, challenges and related business opportunities in electricity access particularly low voltage DC among many topics.

On behalf of The Kenya National Committee of the IEC, I welcome all the Delegates, Presenters and accompanying persons to the conference and to enjoy Kenyan hospitability.

Eng. Cyrus KHALUSI, President of KNCIEC

Conference Organisers

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC)

The International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) is the world’s leading organization that prepares and publishes International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies.

Close to 20 000 experts from industry, commerce, government, test and research labs, academia and consumer groups participate in IEC Standardization work. 

Founded in 1906, the IEC (International Electrotechnical Commission) is the world’s leading organization for the preparation and publication of International Standards for all electrical, electronic and related technologies. These are known collectively as “electrotechnology”.

IEC provides a platform to companies, industries and governments for meeting, discussing and developing the International Standards they require.

All IEC International Standards are fully consensus-based and represent the needs of key stakeholders of every nation participating in IEC work. Every member country, no matter how large or small, has one vote and a say in what goes into an IEC International Standard.

For more information, please visit www.iec.ch.

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS)

The Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) is a statutory body established under the Standards Act (CAP 496) of the laws of Kenya. KEBS commenced its operations in July 1974.

The KEBS Board of Directors is known as the National Standards Council (NSC). It is the policy-making body for supervising and controlling the administration and financial management of the Bureau. The Managing Director is the Chief Executive responsible for the day-to-day administration of the Bureau within the broad guidelines formulated by the NSC. 

Standards provide a common reference point for the assessment of the quality of goods and services. Standards ensure that products and services are safe, reliable and of good quality. For business, they are strategic tools that reduce costs by minimising waste and errors and increasing productivity. They help companies to access new markets, level the playing field for developing countries and facilitate free and fair global trade.

For more information, please visit https://www.kebs.org.


The purpose of SEG 4 LVDC (The IEC Systems Evaluation Group 4 for Low Voltage Direct Current) is to evaluate the status of standardization in the field of low voltage direct current (LVDC) applications and products and to recommend to the SMB the architecture of any future standardization work programme that the IEC may undertake. The SEG will identify new areas that require standardization, it will also evaluate the usage of LVDC in different integration environments in developed and developing economies. The objective is to enhance energy efficiency and to identify new ways to utilize LVDC power. SEG 4 will actively engage with relevant stakeholders within the IEC and external stakeholders already working in the field of LVDC.