- Category: Low-Carbon Biz
10 Aug 2012
- Published on Friday, 10 August 2012 10:25
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International Finance Corporation, a private sector arm of the World Bank, signed an agreement with GSMA, a global organization representing the interests of mobile operators, to amplify the utilization of “green power” technologies at network sites in areas with limited or no grid power access.
The collaboration is expected to substantially reduce carbon emissions, while optimizing business models of mobile operators worldwide.
“There is great opportunity for green power to help address climate change, expand mobile services into rural areas, and in the longer term become part of the solution for powering rural villages,” said Kent Lupberger, I.F.C. Global Head of Telecommunications for media and technology.
Under the terms of the agreement, I.F.C. and G.S.M.A. will develop over 10,000 mobile-network sites in the next four years. These sites will utilize renewable energy sources such as solar and wind for power instead of diesel generators.
The two organizations will also work to draf industry standards, hold technical trainings, conduct feasibility studies, and uphold good business practices for green power in the telecommunications sector, with a special attention on 10 developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. In addition, I.F.C. will grant $821,000 in funding and provide advisory services on clean energy and sustainable private sector investment.
The joint effort is part of the “Green Power for Mobile” program formed by the two organizations in 2008, along with the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to promote renewable energy like solar and wind that will aid mobile network towers in secluded, rural areas across the globe.
By this year, the program aims to help the mobile industry to power 118,000 new and existing off-grid base stations in developing countries using clean energy sources. Reportedly, G.S.M.A. said this number has reached more than 20,000, resulting to an estimated 2.5 billion liters of diesel per annum savings and 6.8 million tons carbon emission reductions.
At present, there are nearly 640,000 off-grid mobile network sites situated in developing countries and operated by diesel generators. One hundred twenty of these sites could integrate more sustainable green power solutions and technologies, including solar, wind, fuel cell, and deep-cycle batteries that would help minimize environmental impact, according to I.F.C. – EcoSeed Staff