The Nigeria-Specific Green Power for Mobile Working Group was successfully conducted on the 30th January 2013 in Lagos. The Working Group was co-hosted by Airtel Nigeria, co-organised by the GSMA and International Finance Corporation (IFC) and attended by 51 delegates from across the industry including mobile network operators, tower companies, industry regulators, financial institutes, vendors, energy service companies, and other stakeholders.
The session started with an introduction from Ferdous Mottakin, the Green Power for Mobile Programme Manager who gave a brief presentation on GSMA/IFC Green Power for Mobile programme’s focus and activities for the African region, specifically for Nigeria.
Solomon Quaynor, Country Manager of IFC Nigeria spoke about their intervention at various levels of government and industry players in order to promote green power deployments across segments.
Arata Onoguchi, from the Sustainable Business Advisory at IFC, gave an overview of IFC’s involvement and support for the Green Power for Mobile programme. Arata highlighted limited current deployment of green power in the Nigerian mobile industry, hence huge untapped opportunities and also gave an overview of the impact created by the Green Power for Mobile programme.
Awadhesh Kalia, the CTO of Airtel Nigeria, also presented during the opening session. He described their strategy and initiatives for going green which focuses on energy efficiency and green power adoption while addressing the various challenges encountered in powering the network. Awadhesh stressed the need for overall eco-system development to create a positive environment for the adoption of green power in the telecom industry. Airtel plans to lead the way in Nigeria and aims to reduce GHG emissions by 18% in 2013/14 from the 10% reduction achieved during 2012/13.
Alh. Abdullahi Maikano, the Secretary of the Universal Service Provision Fund presented the perspectives of the regulators in enabling access to key telecom infrastructure and supporting operators in their green initiatives through industry and government collaborations.
Ugochuckwu Ezenwa of Etisalat Nigeria presented their approach to greening the network and highlighted the challenges in doing so. Ugochuckwu also presented a case study on their solar deployment and demonstrated the potential savings in diesel OPEX by reducing the diesel run hours. Ugochukwu shared the lessons learned from the green deployment and stressed the need for government and regulatory support as enabling factors for accelerated green adoption.
Eze Chibuzor of Eltek shared their role in enabling energy efficiency and green technology adoption in the telecom industry. He spoke about end-to-end energy efficiency approaches and presented their green and hybrid energy offerings in achieving the required performance needs of the telecom industry. He also presented on the TCO of green hybrids, comparing them with traditional power choices such as diesel generators and CDC solutions.
Prof. Olurinde E. Lafe, chairman and CEO of MIDATCO Group presented on various battery storage techniques and the associated technologies and adoption in powering the telecom network. He also shared their community power projects, which they do through their PAWA774 initiative by using green power technologies.
Paul N. Eluhaiwe, the Director of Development Finance at the Central Bank of Nigeria presented on the overall electricity sector in Nigeria and the benefits of promoting green power in the country. He also briefed the group of the government’s efforts in promoting sustainable energy development and shared various policy level initiatives in the same direction. Paul also spoke on CBN’s role in developing the Nigerian power sector through establishing a special fund and their strategy towards funding renewable energy projects across industries.
Sandeep Kulkarni, the Operations Director at IHS Nigeria – a leading tower company, briefed on their global portfolio of tower assets and operations across countries. He presented their initiatives towards reducing the dependence on diesel power through colocation, energy efficiency measures, and hybrid and green power alternatives. He mentioned that their catalyst and economizer solution achieved a reduction of 12% in diesel consumption and IHS Nigeria has deployed the solution across their entire network. He also highlighted that their solar deployments have achieved an average savings of 50% in diesel consumption at each site.
Ann Louise Johansson, VP of Strategy at Flexenclosure, presented their eManager solution by highlighting the importance energy monitoring and management is as a first step to achieving sustained performance and energy efficiency.
Kwabena R. Smith, Executive Chairman and CEO of Orun Energy, presented their energy outsourcing model in the Nigerian telecom industry. Kwabena highlighted the energy challenges in the telecom sector and stressed the need for energy outsourcing to address those challenges. He also briefed the group on various financing mechanisms for an ESCO and the business models in telecom energy outsourcing. Kwabena highlighted key risks associated with the ESCO model and shared the key enabling factors to make energy outsourcing a success in the telecom sector.
Breakout Session 1: Challenges of Going Green
The morning breakout session focused on discussing the various challenges to going green. The group highlighted that regulatory support through tax exemptions, access to finance and trained technical resources are the major challenges in implementing green power at telecom sites. Site security and organised diesel theft are other major concerns.
Breakout Session 2: CAPEX vs. OPEX Model for Green Power Adoption in Nigeria
The second breakout session in the afternoon focussed on discussing preferred models for going green: CAPEX vs. OPEX. The operators and tower companies have expressed their concerns about outsourcing energy through the OPEX model. The operators felt that transferring power assets to a third party energy service provider carries various risks including business and credibility risks, particularly as there is no proven player in the market yet. The third party energy service providers are of the opinion that the model can be successful through operator buy-in, risk sharing and win-win contractual terms. The group feels that education and capacity building via regulatory framework support are major elements to successful green power adoption, including the OPEX business model, in Nigeria.