The Renewable Energy Dashboard

We are pleased to announce the launch of the GSMA ClimateTech Renewable Energy Dashboard.

In this blog we will answer some frequently asked questions about the Dashboard, explaining what it is and how you can use it in your work.

What is the Renewable Energy Dashboard?

The Dashboard is a publicly available repository for industry information about using renewable energy to power mobile towers. It has been created through a cross-industry effort, with MNOs, TowersCos, energy service companies, implementation partners, international finance institutions and eco-system players contributing to its development.

We will be updating the Dashboard quarterly with the latest information and data to support industry players to find, evaluate and implement opportunities to transition to renewable energy, especially in relation to off-grid and bad-grid towers currently powered by diesel. The platform will be an evolving resource, and one which we will work collaboratively across the industry to grow.

What is on the Dashboard?

The Dashboard is accessed through an interactive map of the world that allows you to select a particular country and view related information. The site offers first a summary of data specific to the chosen country, including demographic statistics. Users can then access a detailed breakdown of the number and types of mobile towers there. This includes tower locations, the number of towers powered by on-site renewable energy, statistics relating to off-grid and bad-grid sites and to emissions arising from the use of diesel generators. Thirdly, there is a section about the mobile tower industry in the country in question. This includes information about the organisations active there, governmental regulations and case studies of renewable energy implementations and on-going projects.

The Dashboard already has detailed information for 20 countries and provides high-level summaries for a further 70. More will be added in the coming months.

Who is the Dashboard for and how can it be used?

The Dashboard is intended to support research and business planning, and as we worked with industry stakeholders on developing this resource, we recognised that there would be multiple use-cases.

Now the site has been launched, development finance institutions and project financiers, for example, can use the mobile tower numbers and regulatory summaries to review markets and identify investment opportunities. Energy service companies and project implementers can also use tower data to support their market analyses and business strategy decisions.

All relevant organisations, in particular MNOs and TowerCos, can benefit from access to fresh data and insightful case studies about renewable energy initiatives, using learnings from peer organisations and evaluations of previous renewable energy projects to build the business case for using alternatives to diesel.

For project implementors and technology providers the Dashboard can act as a platform to showcase their great work in implementing renewable energy solutions, attracting attention to their successes.

The Dashboard can also help find potential partners for new projects. For tower owners, this can ensure that tenders for new projects reach the right audiences, permitting them to access the widest possible range of available renewable energy technology solutions.

More generally, energy service companies, project implementers and eco-system players will be able to use the platform to research and identify key organisations in any particular country, which should significantly support the development of their businesses.

Why is this important?

From our discussions with stakeholders, we understand that there are very few informational resources available to the industry about the use of renewable energy to power mobile towers. We are pleased to say, therefore, that the new Dashboard is one of very few sources of information that supports business and investment planning, facilitates peer-to-peer-learning, and helps companies find project partners for renewable energy deployments.

Renewable energy solutions reduce the harmful diesel emissions that are known to cause climate change, damage the planet and increase the frequency of natural disasters. Currently, there are five million towers globally, of which c.309,000 are still powered by diesel. These towers emit c.6.9 million tonnes of CO2 equivalent annually, which is roughly equivalent to 1.7 coal-fired power plants.

What’s next for the Dashboard?

The Dashboard is an evolving resource created through collaboration with industry stakeholders, and we would very much like to thank the ClimateTech Renewable Energy working group members for their support and expertise that have guided the development of the site to date.

In the coming months we aim to improve the Dashboard’s usability by growing both the number of countries covered and the depth and breadth of information provided. To achieve this, we would like to engage with as many stakeholders as possible, and so we invite everyone who is active in tower energy management and interested to contribute to this resource to reach out to us.

This initiative is currently funded by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO), and supported by the GSMA and its members.
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