Nearly 400,000 Off-Grid Mobile Telecommunications Base Stations with Renewable or Alternative Energy Coming
By far the most common energy source for remote, off-grid base stations for mobile telecommunications is diesel generators - a solution that presents a number of economic, logistical, and environmental challenges. Thus, demand for reliable, non-diesel-based energy sources for such facilities is growing. Though this market is small when compared with grid-tied base stations, so-called "green base stations," which utilize renewable, battery, and fuel cell technologies, are starting to see real market traction. According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant's Energy Practice, annual deployments of off-grid power supplies, using renewable or alternative energy sources, for remote mobile base stations will grow from fewer than 13,000 worldwide in 2012 to more than 84,000 in 2020. In all, more than 390,000 such base stations will be deployed from 2012 through 2020, the study concludes.
"The combination of increased energy costs and expanding policy directives from governments is creating pressure on the system," says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson. "And the system is reaching a tipping point, where the new technology offerings in remote base stations could become the industry norm within 10 years. Adding these factors to the high anticipated growth rates in off-grid base station deployments creates the potential for a high-uptake industry to evolve in a very short period of time, if companies can produce product at a volume that works in the local environment."
Because most off-grid base stations are in remote parts of the developing world, the market for off-grid base station power is also one area where the traditional early adopter nations, the United States, Japan, and Germany, lag behind nations such as China, Zambia, South Africa, Kenya, and Indonesia. Africa, a continent with rapidly growing telecom infrastructure, will account for more than 23,500 deployments in 2020 - 28 percent of the world total, according to the report.