Research & Innovation - Participant Portal


TOPIC : Demonstration of plug and play solutions for renewable off-grid electricity

Topic identifier: LC-SC3-RES-30-2019
Publication date: 27 October 2017
Focus area: Building a low-carbon, climate resilient future (LC)

Types of action: IA Innovation action
Opening date:
05 September 2018
Deadline: 11 December 2018 17:00:00

Time Zone : (Brussels time)
  Horizon 2020 H2020 website
Pillar: Societal Challenges
Work Programme Year: H2020-2018-2020
Work Programme Part: Secure, clean and efficient energy
Topic Description
Specific Challenge:

For off-grid communities, research and development is needed to bring down the cost of renewable electricity solutions in diverse geographic and climate conditions by improving at the same time their performance in respect of robustness, reliability, network stability and autonomous operation. Existing micro-grid solutions do not fully respond to the needs of communities in respect of investment costs, versatility, plug and play capabilities, easy installation and connection to the renewable energy source, easy and cost-saving logistics as well as maximisation of the renewables share.


Container-based integrated solutions for sustainable and long-term renewable electricity production, storage and distribution which demonstrate better performance than state-of-the-art solutions with respect to the overall installation, commissioning, operation and maintenance costs. The following parameters and features are expected to be optimised:

  • Versatility of renewable energy sources to utilise (e.g. photovoltaics, wind, micro-hydropower, bioenergy);
  • Plug and play capabilities towards the external electricity sources as well as storage options;
  • Maximising the share of renewable electricity sources vis-á-vis diesel generation;
  • Demonstrated solutions should support power demand of decentralised communities up to 100 kW, in line with targets of Mission Innovation Challenge Nr. 2.

A plug and play prototype should be fully demonstrated, including single shipment of the core system in an intermodal container. Local installation of the fully operational system by the local community should also be demonstrated. Demonstrations shall take place in at least two communities with diverse physical landscape and climate conditions, which are located in different continents. Those demonstrations should use different renewable energy sources locally available. Necessary power generation equipment shall be shipped together with the container; nevertheless, the project should also allow for integration of existing renewable electricity installations in loco by also providing necessary hardware and software interfaces, including those for remote operation and maintenance training. The container should include equipment for energy management and metering as well as system monitoring for demand response optimisation. Renewable drop-in solutions for commercially available equipment developed primarily for fossil fuel use (e.g. biodiesel in combination with diesel generators) are not in scope of the demonstration.

Furthermore, projects proposals should foresee to exchange information with the BRIDGE project[1] and to elaborate on the suitability of the demonstrated solutions for crisis intervention after disasters.

This topic will contribute to the Challenge #2 (Off-grid access to electricity) of Mission Innovation.

Proposals are expected to bring the technology from TRL 6-7 to 7-8.

The Commission considers that proposals requesting a contribution from the EU of about EUR 5 million would allow this challenge to be addressed appropriately. Nonetheless, this does not preclude submission and selection of proposals requesting other amounts.

Expected Impact:

Successful projects will demonstrate the attractiveness of renewable integrated container solutions for off-grid communities in diverse physical landscape and climate conditions by lowering the overall costs of the renewable energy generation and energy system components while ensuring their robustness, reliability, sustainability and autonomous operation.

Cross-cutting Priorities:

Clean Energy
International cooperation


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.

Due to the specific challenges associated with this topic (in case of topic LC-SC3-ES-6-2019 this refers only to sub-topic 4) and the international focus of the Mission Innovation initiative, in addition to the minimum number of participants set out in the General Annexes, proposals shall include at least one participant from a non-EU/Associated country member of Mission Innovation (i.e. Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, People’s Republic of China, India, Indonesia, Japan, Mexico, Republic of Korea, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates, United States). Standard rules on eligibility for EU funding apply.

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):

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
10. Secure, clean and efficient energy WP 2018-20
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

Submission Service

No submission system is open for this topic.

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