Bharti Airtel today announced significant milestones in its endeavor to build a ‘green’ environment friendly mobile network and reduce its carbon footprint in Africa.
Airtel makes progress towards building ‘Green Network’ in Africa
The Company said in a statement that over the last one year, it has reduced the number of telecom sites running solely on diesel by more than 50% by overcoming the challenge of lack of grid connectivity through use of innovative models such as Hybrid Battery Bank.
“By 2013, Airtel aims to completely eradicate the constant use of diesel to power its network - this means no telecom site of the company will rely solely on diesel power 24 hours a day,” it said.
The statement said Hybrid Battery Banks collect the excess energy produced by the diesel powered generator in a battery that powers the site once the generator in switched off - this has helped reduce the use of diesel by up to 14 hours a day.
It said close to 60% of Bharti Airtel’s telecom sites in Africa are now powered using the Hybrid model resulting in major reduction in emissions and also operating costs for the company.
The Company, the statement said, is targeting over 70% of all its sites to be powered by the Hybrid model by end of 2013, adding that it is also working on the use of solar and wind power to power its telecom sites.
The statement quoted Group Chief Technical Officer (CTO), Eben Albertyn as saying “this milestone is the result of significant steps by Airtel taken to ensure that we reduce our fuel consumption and that we play our part in conserving the environment - we will continue to do so as the year progresses.”
Albertyn said Airtel’s first priority is to reduce the number of sites that are completely reliant on diesel generators, adding that Airtel is doing this by connecting the sites to grid electricity in areas where the Hybrid option is feasible.
“Where it is not, we are exploring alternative forms of power supply, which include Hybrid Battery Banks and solar/wind power,” he said.
Meanwhile the company said it has already made significant strides in using solar panels to power sites in select markets, explaining that 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 meager 3 to 4 hours.
It said in the short span of two years, the implementation of all key initiatives – increased grid connectivity, battery hybrid and solar/wind power - will mean that Bharti Airtel will be using 35% less diesel on average to power each site.
The company said it 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.
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