Bharti Airtel has announced significant milestones in its endeavor to build a “green’ environment friendly mobile network and reduce its carbon footprint in Africa. The company said that over 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, the company 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.
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. 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 is targeting over 70% of all its sites to be powered by the Hybrid model by end of 2013. It added that is also working on the use of solar and wind power to power its telecom sites.
Bharti Airtel also said that it has already made significant strides in using solar panels to power sites in select 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.