Solar power will be the energy source for an increasing number of cellular base stations, according to a research report from ABI Research, "Mobile Networks Go Green." The report examines the mechanisms being put into place by carriers and infrastructure vendors to reduce power consumption, ranging from network optimization to hardware integration, power amplifier efficiency, and software-based dynamic asset allocations. The drive by original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) toward reducing base station power consumption, along with improvements in photovoltaic cells, have meant that solar energy is now a very viable solution for powering cellular base stations.
According to ABI Research Vice-President Stuart Carlaw, "Solar power will first be used in conjunction with other primary energy sources such as diesel or grid-based electricity, but will increasingly be seen as a primary source for autonomous cell sites. The market for autonomous solar-powered cell sites looks set to grow from extremely modest levels today to over 40,000 renewable energy sites by the end of 2013. A further 295,000 base stations are expected to supplement on-grid power usage with solar."