Indus Towers boosts green telecom efforts in India through major clean energy plans

Indus Towers boosts green telecom efforts in India through major clean energy plans

Greentech Lead India:
Indus Towers is an independently managed company offering passive
infrastructure services to all telecom operators. It is a joint venture among
entities of Bharti Group, Vodafone Group and Aditya Birla Group.

Indus Towers has initiated a national campaign called
Indus Carbon Abatement Program in early 2011. The company also established
Green City Concept to manage network operations.

With 110,000 towers in 16 circles across the country,
Indus has the widest coverage in India and is also the largest telecom
tower company in the world. Under its Abatement Program, Indus Towers
has declared 7 cities in India green. Sameer Sinha, chief sales and marketing
officer, Indus Towers, talks about their technology initiatives and future

What are your plans
to use alternative energy in your sites?

Environment is one of the core values of Indus Towers Ltd.
In almost every step or project we conceptualize, environment remains one of
the key building blocks. Broadly, FCU (Free Cooling Unit), IIPMS (Indus
Integrated Power Management System) & LCU bypass are the initiatives Indus
has envisaged for the current fiscal, in order to reduce its carbon footprint.
Around a thousand sites are already being powered by solar power. Apart from
these, ID-OD conversion, New Battery Solution, Inverter, Bio-mass etc. are the
initiatives under evaluation and validation. There are some community
initiatives also being undertaken by Indus Towers Ltd.

Going forward, we are aligned with our association TAIPA’s
commitment to convert 100,000 towers to Renewable Energy Technologies. We have
conceptualized to bring in the best of executors and experts of Renewable
Energy Technology around the globe, to provide a Sustainable Renewable Energy
based power in order to replace the diesel being consumed at our cell sites.
The project has been named RESCO, to represent “Renewable Energy Service

What are your plans
to reduce carbon footprints?

Indus Towers has a green program by the name of i-CAP (Indus
Carbon Abatement Program). i-CAP is driven with an impetus on reducing carbon
emission and saving essential natural resources- diesel.  Indus was able
to reduce its carbon footprints by 12 percent in the span of one year
(FY0910-FY1011) and is committed to reduce it by 25 percent in a span of 5

Please explain Indus Carbon Abatement Program?

i-CAP originated from Indus’ impetus to reduce GHG emission
and instead use renewable energy source to power telecom towers in a time frame
of 3-4 years. Indus Green Value Chain for driving i-CAP is a comprehensive program
which can be classified broadly into Green telecom equipment, Green design of
passive telecom sites, through enhanced site sharing and power generation
through Green sources.

Please explain green
city concept?

Indus Green City project was conceived to drive one of the
key values of the Company which is our commitment towards Environment. Indus
cell sites have telecom equipment which requires 24×7, 365 days continuous
power supply to support telecom service.

A telecom site of Indus Towers uses various energy sources
like Grid Electricity, Diesel Generator, and Batteries amongst other things.
Diesel Generators (DG) and Batteries are used due to unreliable electricity
supply in India. Our operations run in 16 telecom circles of India and in
certain geographies there is no electricity supply at all.

Indus strives for maximum utilization of Grid power first,
thus reducing the consumption from other sources. The Green City Project aims
at “Going DG Free” where by the use of diesel is eliminated and instead other
technology solutions deployed to support the network operations.

As of March 2012, Indus has declared 6 major Green Cities
viz. Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Chandigarh, Palanpur and Gandhinagar where all
sites which are in the limits of Municipal Corporation are not using Diesel
Generators and relying just on Grid Power and other non-polluting backup
sources. Replicating the model of Green City across geographies has been a
major achievement of Indus in FY11-12.

What are your main
challenges in India to deploy green technologies?  

The challenges for green telecom business case:

– High initial Capex

– Limited suppliers

– Nascent technology

– Limited operations support network

– Local stake holder resistance

– Seasonal limitation

– Suitability for telecom load profiles

What are your future
sustainability plans in 7 green cities?

Going forward, Indus envisages to promote the Green Concept
to its sites rather than cities, where by Indus shall focus in making a site
green and increasing their portfolio. As of June 2012 Indus has 12000 green
sites and we plan to have 20000 Green sites by the end of March 2013.

What are the green
technologies in the pipeline?

Indus Tower’s strategy is not only limited to usage of
alternative energy to power its towers, but also to work on all other aspects
like using green equipment, to follow a process that puts less impact on the
environment and  using a business model that advocates greener ways of
doing business. The Company’s green roadmap starts with using ‘green’ telecom
equipment to ‘green’ design of passive telecom sites, through enhanced site
sharing and power generation through green sources.

The company is planning to deploy all possible solutions to
power the telecom towers in the near future and plans to be the largest green
energy deployment in the world for telecom infrastructure industry. Indus
Towers today boasts of one of the largest portfolios of ‘green sites’ amongst
all telecom companies in India.