Taking “green” off-the-grid

Close to 400,000 “green” off-grid telecom base stations will be deployed by 2020 as the technology becomes a more popular option for businesses, according to a new report from Pike Research.

Current off-grid base stations – which provide mobile signals in remote areas that struggle to get power – are typically run off of diesel generators which present a number of economic, logistical, and environmental challenges.

According to Pike Research’s report, there is an increasing demand for non-diesel-based energy sources as an alternative,.

The research group expects annual deployments for alternatively-powered base stations to increase from 13,000 in 2012 to 84,000 in 2020.

That equates to the deployment of more than 390,000 “green base stations” which utilise renewable (solar/wind), battery and fuel cell technologies as a source of power.

“The combination of increased energy costs and expanding policy directives from governments is creating pressure on the system,” said research director, Kerry-Ann Adamson.

“The system is reaching a tipping point, where the new technology offerings in remote base stations could become the industry norm within 10 years.”

A high growth rate in off-grid base station deployments will create the potential for a high-uptake industry to evolve in a very short period of time, Adamson said.

Due to the fact that most off-grid base stations are in remote parts of the developing world, traditional early adopter nations such as the United States, Japan, and Germany, lag behind nations such as China, Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, and Indonesia, the report said.

According to Pike, Africa alone will account for more than 23,500 deployments of “green” base stations in 2020 – 28% of the world total.

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Taking “green” off-the-grid