" ITREALMS: Airtel targets 70% green network for Africa


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Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Airtel targets 70% green network for Africa

Bharti Airtel has said that its target is to reduce the number of its base stations running on 24x7 on diesel by over 70 per cent as part of the strategy to build a green network for the African continent before the end of next year, 2013.

The vice president, Corporate Communications, Airtel Africa, Mr. Michael Okwiri, affirmed this to ITRealms Online on Monday, saying that the exercise would afford the company to build a ‘green’ environment friendly mobile network, thereby reducing its carbon footprint in Africa.

As part of its commitment to the environment, he said, the company has undertaken a series of initiatives that are starting to deliver tangible results.

According to him, over the last one year, it has reduced the number of telecom sites running solely on diesel by more than 50 per cent by overcoming the challenge of lack of grid connectivity through use of innovative models such as Hybrid Battery Bank.

And by 2013, he disclosed that Airtel aims at completely eradicating the constant use of diesel to power its network, which means no telecom site of the company will rely solely on diesel power 24 hours a day.

He explained that 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, he said, has assisted in reducing the use of diesel by up to 14 hours a day, stressing that close to 60 per cent 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.

Airtel, he pointed out, is targeting over 70 per cent of all its sites to be powered by the Hybrid model by end of 2013, adding that Airtel is also working on the use of solar and wind power to power its telecom sites.     

The Chief Technical Officer, Bharti Airtel, Mr. Eben Albertyn, was quoted in a press statement endorsed by Okwiri, as saying that this milestone is the result of significant steps by Airtel taken to ensure that the company reduces  its fuel consumption and that play its part in conserving the environment.

“We will continue to do so as the year progresses.  Our first priority is to reduce the number of sites that are completely reliant on diesel generators. We are doing this by connecting these sites to grid electricity in areas where this 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.

Remmy Nweke
ITREALMS Online ... delivering news for ICT4D

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