Nigeria regulator urges switch to renewables for telecoms
Nigeria’s telecoms regulator has called on mobile network operators to switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy.
The initiative should not only reduce the costs of services, but also contribute to the fight against climate change, said the Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC).
Umar Danbatta (pictured), executive vice president of the NCC, said: “We know the implication of the climate change disaster facing the world. So, as a Commission, we are committed to reducing the impact of climate change. The telecoms sector contributes to global emissions, particularly when you realize that there are over 54,000 base transmitter stations powered, in some cases 24 hours seven days a week, by generators. You can just imagine the emissions from these.”
He stated that the peculiarities of Nigeria’s electricity supply have resulted in the telecommunications sector being a contributor to carbon emissions.
Danbatta said that studies have shown that renewables and energy efficiency, boosted by substantial electrification, can provide over 90% of the necessary reductions in energy-related carbon emissions.
He said increasing the use of electricity sourced from renewables presents the best opportunity to accelerate the world’s energy transformation.
He called for more infrastructure sharing as a way of cutting usage of fossil fuels.
“By sharing infrastructure, some operators do not need to entirely build a telecoms site in an area where another operator had deployed one. With the challenge of inadequate public electricity supply in Nigeria, telecom companies rely on diesel-powered generators to keep their telecom sites alive round-the-clock. But a regulatory framework such as infrastructure sharing and collocation is helping in this regard.”