TRAI Seeks Views on Carbon Footprint Reduction in Telecom Sector

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TRAI Seeks Views on Carbon Footprint Reduction in Telecom Sector

Sectoral regulator TRAI has sought views on issues related to reduction in carbon footprint for telecom infrastructure, including mobile towers.

TRAI, in its paper, has sought views on the approach for calculating the carbon footprint, need for auditing carbon footprint of a telecom network by a third party auditor and its mechanism as well formulas suitable for calculation of carbon footprints from grid supply and diesel-power sets.

The Authority had received a reference from the Department of Telecommunications in November last year, seeking recommendations on implementation of renewable energy technology (RET) in the telecom sector.

Presently, about 40 percent of the power requirements of the towers are met by grid power and 60 percent by diesel generators.

Energy costs are becoming as large as 25 percent of total network operations costs for telecom operators. A typical communications company spends nearly one percent of its revenues on energy, which for large operators may amount to hundreds of crores of rupees, TRAI said.

Power and energy consumption for network operations is also a significant contributor of carbon emissions and hence, it is important for operators to shift to energy efficient technologies and alternate sources of energy, it added.

It is estimated that total number of telecom towers would go up from 4.5 lakhs currently to 10 lakhs by FY'17. This would, therefore, substantially increase energy consumption patterns of the telecom sector.

TRAI sought views on options available for renewable energy solutions as well as support required by the industry for effective implementation of renewable energy/energy efficient solutions.

The Paper also sought a methodology for setting new renewable energy targets in the telecom sector and the time frame for achieving these targets among other issues.

The last date for written comments is February 13 and that for counter-comments is February 27, 2017.

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