Mobile phones and devices are more and more present on the market, with a figure of 5.8 billion users expected by 2013. Thus, mobile telephony networks, through their corporate responsibility programs, have to plan their expansion taking into account the CO2 amounts their base stations emit, 24/7.
Orange has taken such responsibility and they brag having installed “more than 740 solar-powered stations in a dozen African countries, and will soon do the same for Southern Spain,” in an internal employee magazine they published recently. The codename for this project is the “Oryx programme”.
They also mention that the 575 solar powered base stations account for some 3 GWh of solar energy, saving around 24,500 tons of CO2. The base stations mainly help isolated populations in Africa, which have no electricity in their areas.
Orange aims that these solar powered base stations would ensure 25% of the energy used for base stations in Africa, Middle East and Asia by 2015.
“Beyond this, the programme is making a major contribution to our ambition to see renewable energies account for 15% of the group’s total consumption by 2015.”
All of these measures are more than welcome in the “green” user’s perspective, and should all be copied and implemented by all mobile telephony companies. Furthermore, Orange should not only install solar powered base stations in Africa or 3rd world countries, but also in remote areas from the rest of the world, where diesel is still the #1 fuel to be used, where power lines are not present.
Of course, few places are as sunny as Africa, and they might be a little skeptical for the rest, but investing into renewable energy sources could get them not only a good image on the market, but also secure the usage costs of some of their strategic areas for times when fossil fuels’ prices will fluctuate.