Innovators awarded funding to combat global energy access crisis in Africa and Asia

Energy Catalyst, a UK government-funded programme, has announced its next wave of promising clean energy innovations.

This is Round 8 of the funding programme, designed to accelerate access to sustainable energy in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia, with all innovations geared to tackle climate change.

This latest round of awards is part of Energy Catalyst’s efforts to support developing economies by increasing access to clean reliable power and transition from fossil fuels through the commercialisation of new clean energy technologies and business models.

This latest round of funding winners represents market-focused technologies across a range of innovations including next-generation storage batteries, state-of-the-art ventilation and air-cooling system for schools, healthcare facilities and offices, to use of AI and machine learning, and a mobile mini-grid that can be transported from village to village to bring clean energy to remote communities.

Round 8 of Energy Catalyst is targeting innovations that address the energy ‘trilemma’: clean energy, affordable energy and accessible energy, to transform the energy landscape while also addressing gender equality and social inclusion in sub-Saharan Africa and Asia.

The programme ambitions are in line with the gathering momentum around energy access, evidenced during COP26 with a sharpened focus around the need for an inclusive global clean energy transition, in line with UN Sustainable Development Goal 7.

Innovate UK, Innovation Lead – Energy, Alice Goodbrook said: “I am really encouraged by the overwhelming interest that the programme has continued to receive, and the high standard of applicants in this latest round of funding. The programme’s progress to date serves to underline the vital importance of this type of funding to help clean energy innovators bridge the gap to commercialisation.

“The impact of Energy Catalyst supported companies is already being felt in nearly 30 countries around the world, furthering access to clean energy and improving the lives of people in developing economies. I am excited to see how the Round 8 companies can take this impact even further.”

Energy Catalyst is an Innovate UK programme with co-funding from the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office, Global Challenges Research Fund, the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

The Carbon Trust leads the accelerator programme for Energy Catalyst companies with support from Energy 4 Impact, Power for All, Intellecap and Open Capital Advisors.

Launched in 2014, Energy Catalyst has supported over 566 organisations, including 119 international partners. The programme has provided £60m of funding for energy access technologies and business models and improved energy access in 36 countries.


Notes to editors


Details of the Energy Catalyst Round 8 projects:

  • Smart Villages – Innovative mobile mini-grid-scale service and storage for rapid scaling of rural energy access in Kenya.
  • InvestinGreen.Energy – Renewable Energy Independent Power Producer innovating advanced battery expansion for scalable, sustainable mini-grids.
  • Solveteq – Sustainable alternative to informal recycling of Lead-acid batteries.
  • Queen Mary University of London – Sea Wave Energy powered micro-grid for remote islands and rural coasts.
  • Pilio – Establishing an insetting scheme in Pakistan to provide affordable renewable energy to communities of rural cotton pickers in extreme poverty with the support of fashion brands.
  • Nova Innovation – Feasibility of Larantuka and Indonesian Tidal Energy (FLITE).
  • Green Fuels Research – PoWGEN – Pangasius and other Waste for Green Energy Needs.
  • Aquatera – IESSLA Integrated Energy Systems Site seLection Assessment for Accelerated Business and Project Development in Off-Grid Islands.
  • Blockchain Climate Policy Studies Ltd – Blockchain-based off-grid energy trading system to enhance the sustainability of less affluent communities in Indonesia.
  • Free running buildings – FREECOOL+ – Adapting passive ventilation and zero-energy cooling for sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Integrals Power – NexGen Battery (NGB).
  • Aceon – Development of innovative off-grid energy storage for sub-Saharan Africa using portable and affordable Sodium (Na)-ion battery system.
  • Verditek – Development of robust, ultra-lightweight portable solar energy system – providing scalable, renewable power (50w-1.5kw) to off-grid communities in Zimbabwe and SSA.
  • Technovative Solutions – Implementation of photovoltaics through an innovative mini-grid expansion model for rural African & Asian communities – (IMPHORAA).
  • – Increasing access to energy through improved battery life and performance
  • Azuri Technologies – Unplugging the generator: solar power tackling intermittent grid in Nigeria.

About Energy Catalyst

Energy Catalyst, an Innovate UK programme, helps early- to late-stage innovators develop market-based technologies and business models that accelerate access to clean, modern and affordable energy in Africa and Asia. For more information, visit

The Energy Catalyst is run by Innovate UK and is co-funded by partners including the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, the Foreign Commonwealth & Development Office, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Global Challenges Research Fund.

About Innovate UK

Innovate UK is part of UK Research and Innovation, a non-departmental public body funded by a grant-in-aid from the UK government. For more information, visit the UK Research and Innovation website. We drive productivity and economic growth by supporting businesses to develop and realise the potential of new ideas, including those from the UK’s world-class research base.

About UK Research and Innovation

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is the largest public funder of research and innovation in the UK, with a budget of over £8bn. It is composed of seven disciplinary research councils, Innovate UK and Research England.

We operate across the whole country and work with our many partners in higher education, research organisations businesses, government, and charities.

Our vision is for an outstanding research and innovation system in the UK that gives everyone the opportunity to contribute and to benefit, enriching lives locally, nationally and internationally.

Our mission is to convene, catalyse and invest in close collaboration with others to build a thriving, inclusive research and innovation system that connects discovery to prosperity and public good.