Renewable energy for cellular base stations is usually pitched in the context of emerging markets extending coverage into rural areas with patchy or non-existent electricity service. But Japanese cellco NTT DoCoMo reportedly plans to start implementing renewable energy for its base stations starting next year.
According to an AFP report (spotted via Energy Daily), DoCoMo intends to build ten renewable energy facilities in fiscal year 2012 to supplement conventional electricity supply:
Daisuke Sakuma, a spokesman at NTT DoCoMo, told AFP that "we are planning 'green transmission stations,' which would be run on eco-energy such as bio-fuel cells, wind or solar power."
Interestingly, it’s not just about being green: DoCoMo is also looking at renewable energy as a back-up power option in the case of a major earthquake. No surprise, given the power-related outages that Japan's mobile networks suffered after the March 11 quake and tsunami.
Also, while DoCoMo is planning for renewable energy for its own needs, Sakuma said the company is also looking at the possibility of selling excess power, the report says.