Indian telecom operator Bharti Airtel plans to harness solar and wind power to run 1,300 to 1,400 telecom towers it owns in Africa that currently run on diesel in an effort to reduce operational costs, according to a report in The Economic Times.
The move should save the company about 11 million liters of fuel this financial year, a company spokesman said in the report.
Theft of up to 6 percent of diesel fuel at telecommunication towers is not uncommon, an unnamed industry analyst said in the report.
Solar power is already functioning at about 1,000 towers, the report says. Environmentally friendly alternatives could save up to a quarter of fuel costs.
The Indian telecom operator paid more than $10 billion in 2010 for businesses in 15 African countries from Kuwait-based Zain Telecom, according to The Economic Times. Business has not panned out over the last three years as Bharti had planned, the report says.