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International Development Research @ Cambridge


The objective of this Call is to promote affordable and accessible access to clean energy derived from off grid electricity through the development of systems that integrate innovative technologies (components, sub-systems etc.) at high readiness level, demonstrate their technical feasibility and cost effectiveness in diverse social contexts of countries requiring off-grid access to electricity, including India.

Renewable electricity systems (based on PV, wind, small hydro etc. depending on local resource) should respond to the needs of single families or remote communities (from the kilowatt level to 100s of kilowatts) without access to grid or still relying on fossil fuel. 

Research and development (R&D) is needed to bring down the cost of these solutions and enhance the range of energy services they can provide, either to equip people with no access or to modernize existing systems by switching to renewable energy. In the short term, innovation on components (inverters, storage, remote monitoring and control...), efficient appliances, and systems design and optimization may reduce the cost of delivered electricity to consumers, meeting an increasing range of needs with payment options matching affordability. In the longer term, breakthrough technologies on storage could be incorporated into the systems to provide an even greater range of services to communities in order to support new economic activities enabled by electricity availability, for instance in the field of digital economy.

The overarching objectives of this call are:

  • For individual homes, the objective is to support significant reduction in price and increase performance of renewable power systems by 2020.
  • For remote communities, the objective is to demonstrate in diverse geographic and climate conditions, the robust, reliable, autonomous operation of renewable power systems less than at a significant lower cost than today by 2020. 

The funding opportunity will financially support activities towards development, studies, research, standards, capacity building and technical assistance, provided that these activities have strong linkage and potential to improve energy access at affordable cost for individuals and communities with no or limited access to grid connected power. 

A maximum of US $5 millions will be awarded to grants between US $0.1 million and US $1 million.

Please read more here and apply here.


Welcome to Cambridge Global Challenges

Cambridge Global Challenges is the Strategic Research Initiative (SRI) of the University of Cambridge that aims to enhance the contribution of its research towards addressing the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) by 2030, with a particular focus on the poorest half of the world’s population.


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