As teledensity has reached 70% in Pakistan, cellular towers are trying to expand their networks to remote locations. Telecom companies are left dependent on diesel generators due to defective grid supply and presence of Base Transceiver Stations (BTS) in off-grid areas to fill the electricity shortage.
Cellular Towers to Use Solar Energy in Remote Areas to Increase Teledensity
Due to high costs the generators are an expensive option for the telecom companies. The renewable energy provides a reasonable alternate in all locations, especially distant ones. Solar energy is generally being used for this reason in developing nations such as India and Africa. OMC Power, a renewable energy project in India, provides renewable energy for cell towers and supplies the surplus electricity to the nearby communities, making life quality better in the community and supporting economic growth.
In Pakistan, if renewable energy is used for cell towers it can be helpful in cost savings and provide a better standard of life for the telecom companies and the communities.
Reon Energy Limited CEO Inamur Rahman said:
“By increasing the number of solar powered cell-sites, the telecom companies can hedge against the market fuel price volatility, and reduce their long term operating costs. Back up batteries help the system provide energy during the non-sunlight hours. Diesel generators can be completely eliminated.”
Reon installed a 7 KW pilot project for a telecom site. The results are most encouraging with generators almost not needed any more. Reon Energy Limited is the renewable energy division of Dawood Hercules Group- the largest provider of energy in the private sector in Pakistan.
Inamur Rahman said:
“We understand both conventional and renewable projects better than anyone in the country.”
As the solar energy costs decreases, it will become helpful for remote communities to make use of solar technologies. The corporate commitments have propelled investors to invest in renewable energy in Pakistan. It is important that the national policies follow the current trend to enhance renewable energy investments in Pakistan.