118,000 Mobile Phone Towers to be Powered by Renewable Energy in Developing World

’Ma, did you know the towers routing this call are now powered by biofuels?’ Photo: Eirik Newth

In many parts of the developing world mobile phones have brought communications capabilities to places where building regular telephone lines would be impractical or cost-prohibitive. No need to build a physical communication grid, just build towers. Those towers have to be powered by something though, and most of the time it’s not from a renewable energy source. Until now...

The GSM Association (a global trade organization representing mobile phone companies in 218 territories and countries) has begun a program that will transition mobile phone towers which currently run on off-grid power to renewable energy. This is what the Green Power for Mobile program is all about:600 Million Gallons of Diesel Saved
The end goal is to use renewable energy to power 118,000 mobile phone base stations—the sites that receive and transmit calls—by 2012 (GreenBiz). New and existing off-grid sites currently running on diesel generators will be targeted first. Powering these base stations with solar, wind or biofuel will save 600 million gallons of diesel fuel each year.

Installation Has Already Begun
The Green Power for Mobile program has already started the transition: The Pacific Island of Vanuatu has 17 stations running on wind or solar; 30 stations in Kenya are running on wind and solar. In Andhra Pradesh, India 350 stations are currently running on an 80/20 mix of diesel and waste cooking oil, but in the future this is expected to be a 50/50 mix, with sustainable grown biofuels replacing the waste cooking oil.

via :: GreenBiz
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