Solar panels at sunset

Energy and the Telecommunications Sector in the Emerging Markets

As specialists in the telecommunications sector, we pride ourselves in our energy efficient hybrid power solutions and established customer relationships with some of the largest mobile network operators and tower companies in Sub-Saharan Africa. Our high-quality products and services are researched and developed to bring technological innovation and regional expertise to the emerging markets.

Key Trends in Powering Mobile Telecommunications Infrastructure

According to the IFC, towers in South Asia, East Asia, Pacific, and Sub-Saharan Africa account for 36%, 29%, and 19% of bad and off-grid sites, respectively. As a result, the market is witnessing a transition to renewable energy, specifically focusing on solar + battery hybrid solutions with diesel backup. Driven by reductions to the levelized cost of off-grid solar power generation over the last few years, operators of off-grid towers that suffer from high fuel costs are now considering hybrid power solutions to improve reliability and reduce costs. The need for alternative battery solutions has emerged, with lithium battery-powered hybrid solar systems being applied more widely in the telecommunications sector for the following reasons.

Green Energy

Adopting green and renewable energy solutions is an environmentally friendly alternative. It has the potential to reduce the industry’s annual carbon footprint, with carbon savings estimated at USD $100–$500 million.

Lithium-ion vs. Lead-Acid

Longer cyclic life and better charge acceptance of lithium-ion batteries compared to the rapid replacement cycle of lead-acid batteries.

Reduced Risk

There has been a decrease in overall project risk due to lower reliance on fossil fuels, which have volatile prices, are costly to transport, and are prone to theft, as well as the reduced need for maintenance.

Solar vs. Diesel

Solar energy increases cost savings compared to diesel-only and other fossil fuel alternatives. Diesel power is a tower’s most significant expense, accounting for 30%–40% of its cost base.