Scientific American - Why Cellular Towers in Developing Nations Are Making the Move to Solar Power

When a sweeping power failure blacked out 700 million people in India last July, the cell sites that connect nearly one billion mobile phone users in the country were largely unaffected.

The vast majority of Indian cell-phone base stations, which each include a tower and radio equipment attached to it, had backup diesel power because the electricity goes out frequently, and many run on diesel entirely if there is no power grid in the area at all. Now dirty diesel generators in India are being challenged by clean, renewable energy, and the movement has implications for other developing nations that also have incomplete or unreliable electric networks. Even in developed nations with reliable electricity, changes in the structure of mobile networks could open the door for alternative energy.

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