With about 2.5 lakh towers powering mobile services to over 400 million subscribers, the telecom industry is now the second largest consumer of energy in the country.
According to industry estimates, each tower consumes 3-5 kW to run the air-conditioner, generators and other equipment required to keep the base station in operation.
“The entire ICT industry accounts for 1.5 per cent of India’s total energy bill. This is expected to go up to 2.7 per cent by 2020. That makes it the second largest consumer of energy. Of this, telecom infrastructure accounts for one-third of the consumption while running IT equipment accounts for half,” says Mr Ankit Tandon, Company Strategist, Acme Tele Power.
Telecom companies are adopting a multi-pronged strategy to reduce energy cost.
Operators have sought incentives from the Government to promote use of renewable sources of energy.
Since air-conditioning is the major reason for high power consumption at tower sites, operators are also deploying systems that keep air cool without compressors.