Solar Powered Cell Phone Towers to Serve 1 Billion Users by 2015
Proposals for solar-powered cell phone towers are being considered in India by the Ministry of New and Renewable Energy as part of India's National Solar Mission,which has the goal of subsidizing 20,000 megawatts of solar power by 2022. At present, there are 250,000 cell phone towers in India serving 500 million subscribers, and the total carbon emissions released by the diesel generators that currently run them is the equivalent of 5.3 million tons a year.
With the growth in mobile phone subscribers estimated to climb to one billion users by 2015, implementing solar powered cell phone towers has the potential to significantly reduce the amount of pollution as well as save money and lessen dependence on fossil fuels across the country.
According to the organizers of the Jawaharal Nehru National Solar Mission, the strategy is to implement solar power in 3 stages over a five year period. The most significant advancements are expected to occur near the conclusion of the program, "as a result of rapid scale up as well as technological developments," when the "price of solar power will attain parity with grid power ... enabling accelerated and large-scale expansion thereafter."