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The Energy and Resources Institute to guide telecom sector on going green

According to reports, leading industry bodies representing the GSM, CDMA and tower service providers have engaged The Energy and Resources Institute to create a blueprint to implement green solutions to reduce their carbon footprint, an executive aware of the development said.

The country’s premier research institute on environment sustainability will bring out a roadmap for tower companies on reducing their diesel consumption, which will receive a final approval by the telecoms department.

More than 2 billion litres of diesel is used to run generator-sets to ensure uninterrupted power supply that in turn allows continuous mobile connectivity even in rural areas where grid electricity is in short supply.

“Teri will create a two-phase proposal with realistic estimates and timelines to implement guidelines laid down by the telecoms department. In the first phase, Teri will comprehensively evaluate these guidelines and chalk out the issues of implementation and any modifications. It will then propose some rules on execution and the technologies to be adopted to do so, in the second phase,” said Rajan Mathews, director general of Cellular Operators Association of India, a voice of telcos like Bharti Airtel, Vodafone and Idea Cellular.

Teri will advise on the amount of carbon emissions that can be actually reduced while relying on renewable energy producing companies (Rescos) and whether there would be requirement of other green solutions for instance, solar panels. The proposal will go to DoT within two weeks for a final approval.

The telecoms department had last month adopted in toto recommendations of sector regulator Trai that had asked telcos to use renewable energy solutions and grid electricity to power 50% of all rural towers and 33% of urban towers by 2015. India has about 4 lakh mobile phone towers in all, more than half depend on diesel for all-day operations.

Mobile carriers must declare the amount of carbon emissions in their network twice a year to the regulator and aim to reduce them by 8% within this financial year going up to 25% by 2018-19.

The Tower and Infrastructure Provider Association ( Taipa) has identified has issued request for proposal to Rescos for buying renewable energy solutions to support around 1 lakh towers. These companies will set up independent plants to sell power to tower companies or telcos. This off-grid distribution model may also sell surplus power back to the grid, a senior executive had earlier told ET.

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