Solar energy use in celltowers can reduce CO2 emissions: Study

Pune, Jan 15 (PTI) On the flip side of the revolutionarycellphone network expansion in India, is the staggering fivemillion tons of annual carbon emissions that has highlightedthe need to replace diesel generators in cellphone towers withsolar panels.

With the number of mobile phone users in the countryswelling rapidly, telecom operaters are going in for more andhigh intensity cellphone towers for better network efficiencyentailing a massive consumption of diesel --- about 2 billionevery year --- for power generation to run them, resulting incarbon emissions totalling an estimated five million tons,says a study released by ''Future Energy'' periodical publishedby Maharashtra Energy Development Agency (MEDA).

The country has at present about 250,000 cellphone towerseach of which use 3-5 kilowatts of power depending on thenumber of operators using them.

"Together these towers use more than two billion litresof diesel every year for power generation. Apart from thisfuel is also spent for cooling the equipment. If all thesecellphone towers use solar energy then it could save a greatamount of fossil fuels as well as reduce carbon emissions," itsaid.

The study noted that cellphone towers are "energyintensive" as they use power non-stop without interruption.

"Air conditioning of the equipment housed in the nearbyhubs also takes up substantial amounts of energy. Thus anychange in the power generation method of cellphone towerswould make tremendous impact in terms of resource saving andreduction in carbon emissions. With telecom operators lookingto expand operations in rural areas, even more telecom towersare set to come up," it said. .

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