Renewable Energy for Mobile Towers

Access to mobile services, including mobile broadband, has helped unlock an array of new opportunities and services that are enhancing the livelihoods of the world’s most underserved populations, spurring economic growth and enabling the mobile industry to contribute to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

In many low and middle-income countries (LMICs), access to mobile connectivity has been expedited by the expansion of mobile towers into areas either not connected to a national grid, or connected but receiving unreliable electrical power. In these locations, “off-grid” and “bad-grid” towers tend to rely on on-site diesel-powered generators for their operation, inflicting a measurable cost on the environment and the balance sheets of mobile network operators (MNOs). Over the last decade MNOs, tower companies (TowerCos) and other key stakeholders have been exploring various technology solutions to adopt renewable energy for these diesel-powered towers. However, our latest study highlights that 88 per cent of off-grid and bad-grid towers in LMICs are still powered by non-renewable sources.

As well as sharing insights and research, the GSMA ClimateTech team is working to bring together key stakeholders to collaboratively address the barriers to switching to renewable energy solutions. Creating industry-wide engagement platforms, the programme targets to create a community of thought leadership on driving change and adapting renewable energy solutions.

The Renewable Energy Dashboard

The ClimateTech programme is excited to share the Renewable Energy Dashboard – a repository for the industry about using renewable energy to power mobile towers. 

Explore the Dashboard now 

Relevant resources

Video: Renewable Energy for Mobile Towers: Opportunities for low- and middle-income countries  Report: Renewable Energy for Mobile Towers: Opportunities for low- and middle-income countries  Blog: How TowerCos are tackling increasing cell site power demands using energy efficiency, mini-grids and renewable energy solutions  Blog: How renewable energy solutions are helping mobile operators reduce emissions and support remote communities  Blog: The role of ecosystem players and innovative technology  Video: Africa’s Transition to Green Energy for Off-Grid Mobile Base Stations