Development & demonstration of a unique low cost scalable PV technology

Lead Participant: Power Roll Limited


Over 1.2 billion people globally are without access to electricity. The adoption of solar panel (photovoltaic, ‘PV’) technology has expanded dramatically from 6GW in 2009 to >70GW in 2016 [Greentech Media], but its use in off-grid rural areas, i.e. India, SE Asia and Africa, has been very low, due to prohibitively high cost and weight. BSL has developed a ground-breaking flexible, ultra-lightweight and ultra-low-cost product called PowerRoll. It is a unique PV technology that provides renewable energy at a cost cheaper than any carbon-based technology, and significantly cheaper than current PV products. PR can be manufactured at a fraction of the cost of conventional panels, and can weigh as little as 2% of current PV products, removing the principal barriers to widespread deployment of solar energy solutions in rural areas. BSL has successfully proven the PR concept. This project is focussed on the development and demonstration of applications to address the needs of rural off-grid communities in the Sub Saharan African, Indian and SE Asia. We are working with expert sub-contractors and three partners to support the demonstrators across several test sites in these markets: The Energy and Resources Institute, India (TERI); Unilever; and Newcastle University (JSCE).

Lead Participant

Project Cost

Grant Offer

Power Roll Limited, Sunderland £703,502 £ 492,453


The Energy & Resources Institute (TERI), New Delhi £107,047 £ 107,047
Newcastle University, United Kingdom £75,174
Unilever U.K. Central Resources Limited, Bedford £88,967 £ 44,483


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