Jon Radcliffe
Dr Jonathan Radcliffe, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham

Experts at the University of Birmingham have joined counterparts in Mexico to explore how energy storage can help develop a low-carbon energy system and support people living in Mexican communities with limited access to energy.

Energy storage technologies (ESTs) can help balance supply and demand and allow off-grid communities to increase their use of renewables, rather than diesel generators.

Working with researchers at the Mexican National Institute of Electricity and Clean Energy (Instituto Nacional de Electricidad y Energías Limpias, INEEL), the Birmingham researchers will assess the potential role for ESTs in Mexico.

The project will see workshops held in Mexico and at the University of Birmingham, with technical and policy reports published in both Spanish and English.

Dr Jonathan Radcliffe, Senior Research Fellow at the University of Birmingham said: “This is a great opportunity to understand how energy storage can help develop a low-carbon energy system in Mexico.

“We will assess communities’ future energy needs and evaluate how appropriate technologies can be integrated. Just providing a technological solution is not enough - we will also consider the policies and business models that can help support deployment.”

Using renewable energy to promote social and environmental sustainability is a key piece of Mexico’s energy policy. However, the quantity of energy from renewables such as solar and wind power varies and needs to be managed.

David Castrejón Botello (INEEL) said: “Mexico has great potential for the development of solar and wind energy, however, due to the intermittent nature of these technologies and the low economic development of the communities, access to this type of sustainable energy is limited.

“This project, supported by the extensive experience of the University of Birmingham, helps us to identify, evaluate and prioritize the different types of energy storage technologies in combination with renewable energies for their application in Mexico.

“This is a project of great importance for Mexico that helps to propose innovative solutions to combat the energy poverty of the communities, guide the creation of new public policies and allow the development of human talent.”

Project teams from the University of Birmingham and INEEL will assess the viability and applications of different energy storage options for communities in Mexico, and what measures may be needed to allow their deployment.

Backed by funding from the UK’s Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, the project is part of the Newton Institutional Links programme, which supports the development of research collaborations between the UK and partner countries.

Abel Dorantes, Project Manager for Science and Innovation at the British Council in Mexico said, “The proposal submitted by the University of Birmingham and the Instituto Nacional de Electricidad y Energías Limpias is well aligned with international research priorities in the field of energy sustainability.

“It clearly articulates a plausible pathway for the collaboration to lead to a positive impact on the lives of people and contribute to the economic development and social welfare of both Mexico and the UK.”

For more information, please contact Tony Moran, International Communications Manager, University of Birmingham on +44 (0) 121 414 8254 or  +44 (0)782 783 2312. For out-of-hours enquiries, please call +44 (0) 7789 921 165. 

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