Migrate to Renewable Energy to Reduce Service Cost, NCC Urges Telcos

Oghenevwede Ohwovoriole in Abuja

The Nigerian Communications Commission (NCC), has called on Mobile Network Operators (MNOs) to transit from fossil fuel to renewable energy in order to reduce the cost of telecom service as well as help fight climate change.

The NCC Executive Vice Chairman, Prof. Umar Danbatta, stated this yesterday, at the 2023 World Consumer Rights Day in Abuja with the theme: “Empowering Consumers Through Clean Energy Transitions.”

Danbatta, who was represented by the Executive Commissioner, Stakeholders Management, Adeleke Adewolu, stated that a transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy would greatly reduce the impact of  climate change on the environment.

He said: “To minimise the environmental impacts of climate change caused by carbon emissions, telecom network providers need to come up with a modern and more energy-efficient network.

“This includes the use of solar-powered cells, wireless electricity or a hybrid system to replace higher energy-consuming equipment that will lead to a reduction in capital expenditure (CAPEX) and operational expenditure (OPEX) and by implication, a reduction in service costs to consumers.

“Transitioning to renewable energy is predicted to result in a lower cost of operation as operators will be able to save on the cost of diesel, which accounts for a large chunk of the costs incurred by these licensees.

“The competition that the Commission consistently promotes among industry players has a natural consequence of the savings on the cost of diesel passed on to consumers, which would potentially result in lower prices for services.

“Therefore, I want to use this opportunity to call on MNOs and Original Equipment Manufacturers (OEMs) to come up with innovations in sustainable energy in line with the International.”

According to him, the NCC was working on a clean energy policy that would benefit both the MNOs, consumers and the environment.

He cited the “International Telecommunications Union (ITU) Recommendation ITU-T L.1380 on smart energy solutions for telecom sites’ performance, safety, energy efficiency and environmental impact,” adding that this was vital to address the challenges of climate change and environmental degradation.

“In this regard and for the industry stakeholders, especially consumers, to benefit from the advantages of renewable energy, the Commission is working on a policy to encourage the adoption of renewable energy sources by operators.

“When operational, the policy will ensure that using clean energy sources for power has the potential to resolve the three key needs of the telecom industry, namely: reduction in diesel usage; expansion of telecom infrastructure to off-grid areas; and reduction in carbon emissions,” he said.

Danbatta stated that the Commission, as a responsive world-class organisation, had been proactive in responding to the realities and challenges posed by the impact of using fossil fuel as a power source in the telecommunications industry.

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