Business News of 2013-12-22

AIRTEL puts a “green’touch to it network

In line with Airtel’s commitment to the environment, the company has taken the lead in promoting a “Green Initiative” by converting some of its telecom sites to an innovative Hybrid Battery Bank model (solar, battery and diesel or battery and diesel only) that reduces its carbon footprint across Africa.

Hybrid Battery Banks collect the excess energy produced by the diesel powered generator in a battery that powers the site once the generator is switched off. This has helped reduce the use of diesel by up to 14 hours a day resulting in major reduction in emissions as well as operating costs for the company. Hybrid function is similar to solar but without the solar panels.

The company is also using solar energy in pilot areas. The solar panels charge the batteries and power the telecom equipment during the day. At night the telecom equipment runs on battery till about 3am. Diesel generators then run between 3 am and 8 am when the daylight returns and the cycle starts all over again. Daily generator hours have been reduced from 24 hours to 5 hours a day.

Leading a team of journalists to one of the telecom towers which uses solar, battery and diesel situated at Pokukrom in the Brong Ahafo region, Head of Corporate Communications and External Affairs at Airtel Ghana, Donald Gwira said in this era of rising fuel costs and environmental consciousness, Airtel was keen on building a ‘green’ environmentally friendly mobile network by reducing the number of sites running 24/7 on diesel to the new hybrid system.

“In this regard, 224 of our telecom sites representing 18 percent of total sites across the country use solar energy/hybrid” he added.

He explained that the successful implementation of Airtel’s ‘green network’ initiative will continue in a phased manner to enable Airtel benefit in terms of fuel savings. In the long run, according to him, these savings will translate into maintaining cost effective services whilst promoting environmental consciousness.