The role of solar power in enabling a sustainable approach to telecommunications provision has been underlined recently by initiatives in Chile and Zimbabwe.
The Swedish Space Corporation (SSC) a leading global provider of advanced space services, says it has made a number of major investments to support its long-term goal of zero carbon dioxide emissions by 2040. The most recent involves 624 new solar panels supplied to the company’s satellite station facility in Santiago, Chile. The new power source is now supplying the facility with green electricity.
With over 6,000 hours of sunshine every year, Santiago is a particularly favourable location for solar energy. The new solar panels will have a total output of 350kWh with a production of approximately 660Mwh annually. For cloudy days, storage options with lithium batteries will also be added in the coming months, as well as a smaller backup powered by fossil fuels that can be used if needed.
The Santiago station is an important node in SSC’s global network of satellite ground stations – one of the largest networks of its kind in the world. As a next step towards a greener energy supply, SSC plans to introduce solar cell parks at selected company facilities around the world.
Meanwhile operator Econet Wireless Zimbabwe has announced plans to invest in almost 500 solar-powered base stations in the coming 24 months.
“We are planning to install 499 solar sites in the network in the next two years in order to ensure green energy and energy efficiency for our operations,” Econet said in its 2022 Annual Report.
The group installed over 100 solar base stations last year. The company is also implementing strategies for e-waste monetisation and recycling as the business transforms its operations toward energy efficiency, waste management and conformance with UN’s Sustainable Development Goals.
The company has said it aims to achieve carbon neutrality for its entire business and supply chain by 2030.