Calls for Proposals - Batteries for Emerging Economies

To provide scientific, techno-economic and socio-economic research

The Faraday Institution has announced a new programme in developing countries and emerging economies to advance the use of energy storage to provide access to cheap, sustainable and reliable energy. With an initial focus on regions in Africa, up to six projects will be funded to identify opportunities for battery solutions that will promote inclusive, reliable and affordable energy access, and enable the clean energy transition.

The research projects will be funded from a £3 million grant provided to the Faraday Institution from the UK aid as part of its Transforming Energy Access Programme, which supports early stage testing and scale up of innovative technologies and business models that will accelerate access to affordable, clean energy based services to poor households and enterprises, especially in Africa. 

Three calls for proposals are being published by the Faraday Institution:

  • Scientific research projects to reduce the cost and improve the performance of battery technologies for use in developing countries and emerging economies. The programmes will focus on pre-commercialised technologies such as flow batteries, zinc-air and copper-zinc batteries. Two to four such projects will be funded. A budget of up to £1,000,000 ex VAT is available for this activity. 2-4 projects, each of up to two and a half years in duration, will be funded. This call for proposals has now closed.
  • Techno-economic analysis of the costs and prospects for replacing generators running on fossil fuels with battery storage technologies in developing countries and emerging economies. Applications for this study will open in the coming months.
  • A socioeconomic analysis of the energy transition. This study will uncover political, economic and social insights that would have implications for a successful transition from use of diesel generators to energy storage. One key objective will be to reveal underlying interests, incentives and institutions in order to enable change and to inform realistic expectations of what can be achieved, and the risks involved. Applications for this study will open in the coming months.

The scope of the calls was informed by a study to define the market and technological needs and opportunities for battery and other energy storage technologies in developing countries and emerging economies, which was completed by Vivid Economics in 2019. Report. Faraday Insight.


Answers to enquiries about the call for scientific research projects (now closed):

The call was open to all UK higher education institutes, eligible research institutes and public sector research establishments. The Faraday Institution encouraged such organisations to lead and coordinate applications for proposed projects. The Faraday Institution also encouraged the lead organisation to collaborate with suitable partners where plausible and where the expected collaboration is likely to increase the quality and/or de-risk the proposed research. Collaborators can be from any country including target territories. Collaborators can be other research institutes/organisations, NGOs, SMEs, or industry organisations. Lead organisations will be expected to set up appropriate collaboration agreements with partners and administer relevant funding claims.

The ‘Reducing the cost and improving the performance of battery technologies for use in developing countries and emerging economies’ call has not only been designed to focus on technologies that are most likely to be viable for use in developing countries, but also to focus on technologies that are not already part of the Faraday Institution’s existing research programmes.

The call excludes lithium ion solutions; the intention is to exclude research on widely available and previously studied commercial products. However, we will consider solutions based around derivatives of lithium ion. The applicant will need to demonstrate novel or innovative characteristics which differentiate their research from current commercial products.

The call excludes second life applications for lithium ion solutions, as they are covered under our existing research programmes.


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