Cinergy, an Irish company, wants to equip cell phone companies in developing countries with alternative energy sources, such as wind turbines and solar panels. Because in countries like Africa, Asia and Latin America mobile networks are expanding quickly, the local power grids often don’t keep up with the loads and the operators need diesel backup generators.
“As people are becoming more energy and environmentally conscious, particularly with the rising price of oil, there is now a market for renewable- energy solutions,” says Colin Cunningham, a co-founder of Cinergy. “Putting a wind turbine on top of a mobile phone mast structure seemed like a logical step given that both require very similar sites to work effectively.”
Cinergy is a spin-off from the Irish research company Delmec Engineering, specialized in telecom industry steelwork infrastructure. They are also testing such backup systems along with a local mobile telephony operator.
The potential market is huge for them, since India, for example, is installing 100 new mobile masts per week: In many countries the rollout of the network is happening quite fast and they are using generators, but operators are starting to look for renewable options. Our whole focus is on green energy solutions for those markets.”
Of course, these solutions would be excellent in adopted on the market, but looking in another way at the developing countries’ real problems, you’ll soon realize that they have troubles with burglars who would steal anything resembling copper or any other material that can be sold on the scrap market. I don’t want to think about solar panels, batteries, wind turbines and so on.