Bharti Airtel progresses towards African ‘green network’

solar_panel_2Bharti Airtel has already set up 105 solar sites in Niger over the past two monthsBharti Airtel has announced significant progress in its endeavour to build an environmentally friendly mobile network and reduce its carbon footprint in Africa

As part of its commitment to the environment, the company has undertaken a series of initiatives that are starting to deliver tangible results. Bharti Airtel said that over the past 12 months it has reduced the number of telecom sites running solely on diesel by more than 50 per cent. It has done this by overcoming the challenge posed by a lack of grid connectivity by using innovative models such as the Hybrid Battery Bank.

By 2013, Bharti Airtel aims to completely eradicate the constant use of diesel to power its network, meaning that none of its telecom sites will rely solely on diesel power 24 hours a day.

Hybrid Battery Banks collect the excess energy produced by the diesel powered generator in a battery that powers the site once the generator is switched off. This helps reduce the use of diesel by up to 14 hours a day.

Close to 60 per cent of Bharti Airtel’s telecom sites in Africa are now powered using the Hybrid model resulting in major reductions in emissions and also operating costs for the company. The company said it aims for 70 per cent of its sites to be powered by the Hybrid model by the end of 2013 and is also working on the use of solar and wind power to power its telecom sites.

Bharti Airtel said that it has already made significant strides in using solar panels to power sites in selected markets. Over the last two months, 105 solar sites have already been set up in Niger reducing the use of diesel generators from 24 hours a day to a meagre three to four hours.

In the short span of two years, the implementation of all key initiatives – increased grid connectivity, hybrid battery usage and solar/wind power - will mean that Bharti Airtel will be using 35 per cent less diesel on average to power each site. The company is confident that as it maintains its focus on using alternative sources of fuel to replace diesel, it will continue to play a significant role in conserving the environment.

twn Are you sure that you want to switch to desktop version?