According to reports, Indian government may ask telecom companies to install solar panels to generate backup power for cellphone towers. According to the news, a proposal being finalized by the ministry of new and renewable energy (MNRE) is aimed at containing the use of polluting diesel generators to provide back-up power. The move could increase the cost of network expansion significantly.
However, this is something that the MNRE has been campaigning for, for a while now. They have mentioned that the off grid solar target for the JNNSM would be significantly contributed by the cell phone towers moving to solar panels and the projections and the targets have been set with this in mind.
What has been under discussion is the role of various stake holders and possible subsidy that the ministry could offer through various schemes. The government has also been concerned that the diesel currently being used for these generators are subsidized and used for a commercial venture.
What remains to be seen is the kind of consensus that is reached between the various stake holders in this project as a move to solar panels will provide the necessary impetus to meet the goals of the off grid component of JNNSM.