Despite advances in overall global electrification rates, access to electricity is still far from achieved. As of today, 1.1 billion people remain without access to electricity, which includes over 550 million people in Africa and 300 million people in India alone (International Energy Agency, 2012), while an additional 1 billion people lack access to reliable electricity networks (United Nations Foundation).

Microgrids - distributed systems of localized generation, distribution network and load - are being increasingly deployed particularly in rural areas of emerging and under-developed countries to achieve energy access. However many challenges are restraining the growth of this sector, including numerous financial, technical and social limitations.

IESA has launched MICRO, the microgrid initiative for campus and rural opportunities with a goal of making microgrids economically self-sustainable and to reduce levelized cost of energy by 30-50% by 2020 (against the 2016 baseline).

Earlier this year, European Space Agency agreed to support the MICRO initiative by launching a joint project to explore the role of satellite data and tools for improving microgrid design and applications. The objective of the feasibility study is to assess the technical and economic viability of deploying services based on Satellite Communications, Earth Observation data, and/or other space assets to support the decentralized management of microgrids in India and other developing countries. The study will eventually propose a roadmap for service(s) implementation and demonstration.

Feasibility studies will be eligible for 100% funding, up to €200K, for nine months duration.

Esa tender information

Responding to an open competitive Invitation to Tender (ITT) requires the submission of a Full Proposal. The submission of the Full Proposal initiates the evaluation process according to ESA regulations and procedures.

The consequential evaluation of proposals results in a recommendation for a winning bid. In the case that several proposals of sufficient quality targeting different and/or complementary aspects are submitted, the Agency reserves the right to place parallel contracts for each of the open competitive ITTs in coordination with the relevant national delegations and partners involved in case of external funding.

Registration as bidder

The Prime and all subcontractors must register as potential bidders via esa-star, prior to downloading the official tender documents from EMITS and submitting the Full Proposal. The registration process needs to be started as soon as possible, as it will take time to complete.

Funding scheme

Funded participation to ESA Business Applications is open to any company and/or organization, be it as a group of users, public body or non-governmental organization, residing in any of those states that subscribe to the ARTES IAP programme.

To date, Austria, Belgium, Czech Republic, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Luxemburg, The Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom have subscribed.

The applicable funding level of the individual prime- or subcontractors is subject to authorization by the involved National Delegation(s). Therefore bidding teams are requested to obtain a Letter of Authorisation from all their national delegations before submitting a Full Proposal.





Feasibility Study




Demonstration Project




Kick-start Activity



60 kEuro/ 
6 month

Cron Job Starts