The Department of Telecom (DoT) has enlisted PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) in order to evolve a carbon credit policy for mobile phone companies.
Another strategy is to evaluate the techno-commercial feasibility of powering 3.5 lakh telecom towers with green or “renewable” energy. (Read our article entitled Telecom towers to run on renewable sources)
PwC India will suggest by end of February as to how telcos can check diesel dependence and reduce carbon footprint. The study will also identify potential of carbon credits and earn revenue for the industry.
The Government of India as part of its policy is trying to reduce fossil fuel dependence so as to ensure that the major source of power is sourced in the form of renewable energy by 2020.
Carbon credits is being looked as a potential source of revenue given India’s huge telecom sector which has penetrated even into the rural sectors because of the rapid expansion of the telecom industry due to government policies that long favoured it.
PWC however has sought more time from DoT, given the complexity of the task. The final report is now expected by end-February 2014.
PwC has managed to collect only 60 per cent of the tower data relating to renewable energy deployments so far. It is yet to receive the requisite tower data from public sector telcos like Bharat Sanchar Nigam Ltd, as per the information from DoT note.
As part of India’s green policy, telcos are required to migrate 50 per cent of all towers in rural areas and 20 per cent in urban areas to hybrid power by 2015. By 2020, operators will need to run 75 per cent and 33 per cent of cell towers in rural and urban zones, respectively, on hybrid supplies. The policy also requires operators to lower carbon emissions by 17 per cent in the next five years.