Experts at the University of Birmingham are working with 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 to 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.

Low-carbon energy

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 in the School of Engineering at the University of Birmingham, and Policy Director of the Birmingham Energy Institute, says: ‘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.”

Renewable energy

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.

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.