According to reports, in a bid to reduce the carbon footprint of the telecom sector by reducing its dependence on diesel, the government has directed all telecom service providers to ensure that at least half of all their towers in rural areas use hybrid power sources.
Currently, most telecom towers use diesel generators, making the industry the second-largest user of diesel in the country.
The directives — suggested by the telecom Regulatory Authority of India last year and approved by the government this week — also mandate that 20 per cent of all urban towers must use hybrid power by 2015. By 2020, the share of hybrid power — which means a mix of renewable energy technologies and grid power — be increased to 75 per cent and 33 per cent in rural and urban areas respectively.
Service providers have also been told to declare the carbon footprint of the network operations to TRAI twice a year. They must aim to reduce their greenhouse gas emission targets by five per cent in the current financial year, with a 17 per cent reduction target for 2019.
Telecom products, equipment and services will also have to be certified with a “Green Passport” by the Telecommunication Engineering Centre by 2015.
“Service providers should adopt a Voluntary Code of Practice encompassing energy efficient Network Planning, infra-sharing, deployment of energy efficient technologies and adoption of Renewable Energy Technology to reduce carbon footprints,” added a TRAI statement.