Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Advanced Redox Flow Batteries for stationary energy storage

Topic identifier: LC-BAT-4-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: RIA Research and Innovation action
Planned opening date:
24 January 2019
Deadline: 25 April 2019 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Cross-cutting activities
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

Redox flow batteries (RFB) are considered prime candidates for grid-scale stationary energy storage due to their ability to store large amounts of electrical energy for extended periods and release it quickly when needed. Key features include their scalability, independent sizing of energy and power rating, room temperature operation and potential long cycle life. However, currently used RFB rely on redox couples that are non-indigenous to Europe, not widely available and therefore relatively costly. In addition, the voltage and energy density that can be achieved in aqueous flow batteries are constrained by undesired water electrolysis and the low solubility of the active species. This challenge is in line with the identified priorities in the context of the SET-Plan[1].


The objective is to develop and validate RFB based on new redox couples and electrolytes (such as organic or earth-abundant substances) that are environmentally sustainable, have a high energy and power density, maximise lifetime and efficiency, while minimising their cost. Validation of new designs must include testing of full-size prototypes in pilot facilities.

Specific issues to be addressed include:

  • Long-term stability of the redox couples under repetitive voltage swings, and their enhanced solubility and reversibility;
  • Low membrane resistance (or even membrane-free systems);
  • Improved electrode reaction kinetics;
  • Upscaling (especially increasing the reaction surface);
  • Improved battery control systems;
  • Environmental sustainability; and
  • Safety aspects (toxicity, flammability).

Since cost is the most important driver for grid scale electricity storage, targets for key performance indicators such as levelised cost of energy (€/MWh), cost per surface power density (€/Wm-2) and capital cost (€/kWh of capacity) should be set. "Balance of plant" components should be included in cost optimisation.

The activities are expected to bring the technology from TRL 3 to TRL 5 (please see part G of the General Annexes)[2].

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of between EUR 3 and 4 million would allow this specific challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Project results should contribute to reach the targets set in the SET Plan, putting the energy storage cost on the path to fall below 0.05 €/kWh/cycle by 2030. Overall, the results should stimulate investment in the low-carbon energy sector, with the long term aim to boost innovation-driven growth and industrial competitiveness in stationary electrical energy storage. The proposed action should contribute to accelerating the integration of large shares of intermittent renewables (in particular solar and wind) into the energy system by pushing the boundaries of stationary electrical energy storage.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Clean Energy


[2]This topic is complementary to topic LC-NMBP-27-2019 (Strengthening EU materials technologies for non-automotive battery storage), which addresses TRL 4 to 6.

Topic conditions and documents

1. Eligible countries: described in Annex A of the Work Programme.
A number of non-EU/non-Associated Countries that are not automatically eligible for funding have made specific provisions for making funding available for their participants in Horizon 2020 projects. See the information in the Online Manual.


2. Eligibility and admissibility conditions: described in Annex B and Annex C of the Work Programme. 


Proposal page limits and layout: please refer to Part B of the proposal template in the submission system below.


3. Evaluation:

  • Evaluation criteria, scoring and thresholds are described in Annex H of the Work Programme.  
  • Submission and evaluation processes are described in the Online Manual.

4. Indicative time for evaluation and grant agreements:

Information on the outcome of evaluation (single-stage call): maximum 5 months from the deadline for submission.
Signature of grant agreements: maximum 8 months from the deadline for submission.


5. Proposal templates, evaluation forms and model grant agreements (MGA):

Research and Innovation Action:

Specific provisions and funding rates
Standard proposal template
Standard evaluation form
General MGA - Multi-Beneficiary
Annotated Grant Agreement


6. Additional provisions:

Horizon 2020 budget flexibility
Classified information
Technology readiness levels (TRL) – where a topic description refers to TRL, these definitions apply

Members of consortium are required to conclude a consortium agreement, in principle prior to the signature of the grant agreement.

7. Open access must be granted to all scientific publications resulting from Horizon 2020 actions.

Where relevant, proposals should also provide information on how the participants will manage the research data generated and/or collected during the project, such as details on what types of data the project will generate, whether and how this data will be exploited or made accessible for verification and re-use, and how it will be curated and preserved.

Open access to research data
The Open Research Data Pilot has been extended to cover all Horizon 2020 topics for which the submission is opened on 26 July 2016 or later. Projects funded under this topic will therefore by default provide open access to the research data they generate, except if they decide to opt-out under the conditions described in Annex L of the Work Programme. Projects can opt-out at any stage, that is both before and after the grant signature.

Note that the evaluation phase proposals will not be evaluated more favourably because they plan to open or share their data, and will not be penalised for opting out.

Open research data sharing applies to the data needed to validate the results presented in scientific publications. Additionally, projects can choose to make other data available open access and need to describe their approach in a Data Management Plan.

Projects need to create a Data Management Plan (DMP), except if they opt-out of making their research data open access. A first version of the DMP must be provided as an early deliverable within six months of the project and should be updated during the project as appropriate. The Commission already provides guidance documents, including a template for DMPs. See the Online Manual.

Eligibility of costs: costs related to data management and data sharing are eligible for reimbursement during the project duration.

The legal requirements for projects participating in this pilot are in the article 29.3 of the Model Grant Agreement.


8. Additional documents:

1. Introduction WP 2018-20

20. Cross-cutting activities

18. Dissemination, Exploitation and Evaluation WP 2018-20

General annexes to the Work Programme 2018-2020

Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Regulation of Establishment
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Rules for Participation
Legal basis: Horizon 2020 Specific Programme


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