Using Renewable Energy Technologies for Telecom Towers in India

Energy requirements constitute a major part of a telecom tower’s operating cost, especially in rural areas where power supply is irregular and inadequate. Besides, the ICT industry contributes nearly 2% to global GHG emissions, the majority of which comes from telecom. The growing cost of energy and rising carbon emissions from this industry have led policy makers to think of alternate solutions in Renewable Energy Technologies (RET) for telecom towers in India. The study will be conducted in three phases. The first phase (concluded in March 2014) included a techno-economic evaluation of 22 pilot projects under USOF’s subsidy programme for greening of telecom towers in India. In the second phase the techno-economic analysis will be accompanied by a spatial analysis of 7,300 tower sites identified by USOF. The research team will visit some of the tower sites for a first hand understanding of challenges at the ground level which do not get captured in data from secondary sources. Additionally, stakeholder consultations with renewable energy service companies (RESCOs), technology vendors, telecom tower companies, and telecom service providers will be conducted to enhance the understanding of technology and its application. In the final phase, the study will focus on arriving at an appropriate subsidy programme for greening of telecom towers, per mandate set by the regulator in India. Recommendations from this study will contribute to the policy discussion on technology choices, financing, and deployment of RET for telecom towers in India.