In the last few years, the number of worldwide cellular base stationshas exploded from the hundreds of thousands to the many millions,creating greenhouse gases and pollution from the power required to runthem, reports In-Stat.
Base stations on an electric gridaren’t the real problem, but as cellular spreads to billions of peoplein emerging countries, off-grid base stations, which are usuallypowered by diesel generators running 24/7, proliferate.
“Whilediesel pollution is an environmental issue, what bothers operators themost is the cost of powering and securing the generators,” says AllenNogee, In-Stat analyst. “Diesel fuel has to be trucked to remote sites,and theft of diesel fuel and equipment can cost operators millions ofdollars. The solution is for operators to at least partially powerremote base stations with wind turbines, solar panels, or both. This istruly a case where it pays to be green.”
Recent research by In-Stat found the following:
* By 2014, over 230,000 cellular base stations in developing countries will be solar-powered or wind-powered.
* The number of off-grid base stations is growing at 30 percent per year.
*Off-grid base stations are primarily located in Africa, South Asia(including India), South America, Latin America, and the Caribbean.