Greentech Lead Africa: Airtel Africa is exploring the use
of renewable energy such as solar and wind power to improve its green
initiatives. Over the last two months, 105 solar sites have already been set up
in Niger reducing the use of diesel generators from 24 hours a day to 3 to 4
The company is also looking at completely eradicating
constant use of diesel across all its sites by 2013.
In the two years, the implementation of all key
initiatives – increased grid connectivity, battery hybrid and solar/wind power
– will mean that Bharti Airtel will be using 35 percent less diesel on average
to power each site.
Its focus on using alternative sources of fuel to replace
diesel will assist Airtel to play a significant role in conserving the
The mobile operator also underlines commitment to
environment by reducing number of telecom sites running 24×7 on diesel by over
60 percent of company’s telecom sites now use the
innovative Hybrid Battery Bank model that reduces daily use of diesel by up to
“This milestone is the result of significant steps by
Airtel taken to ensure that we reduce our fuel consumption and that we play our
part in conserving the environment. Our first priority is to reduce the number
of sites that are completely reliant on diesel generators. We are doing this by
connecting these sites to grid electricity in areas where this option is
feasible. Where it is not, we are exploring alternative forms of power supply,
which include Hybrid Battery Banks and solar/wind power,” said Eben Albertyn,
chief technical officer, Bharti Airtel.
Over last one year, Airtel has reduced the number of
telecom sites running solely on diesel by more than 50 percent by overcoming
the challenge of lack of grid connectivity through use of innovative models such
as Hybrid Battery Bank. Hybrid Battery Bank model will cover 70 percent of all
telecom sites of Bharti Airtel in Africa by 2013.
Hybrid Battery Banks collect the excess energy produced
by the diesel powered generator in a battery that powers the site once the
generator in switched off. This has helped reduce the use of diesel by up to 14
hours a day.
By 2013, the company aims to completely eradicate the
constant use of diesel to power its network. This means no telecom site of the
company will rely solely on diesel power 24 hours a day.
Close to 60 percent of Bharti Airtel’s telecom sites in
Africa are now powered using the Hybrid model resulting in major reduction in
emissions and also operating costs for the company. The company is targeting
over 70 percent of all its sites to be powered by the Hybrid model by end of