Washington D.C., August 9, 2012—IFC,
a member of the World Bank Group, and the GSMA, a global association representing
the interests of mobile operators, signed an agreement to increase the
use of green-power technologies at network sites in areas with limited
or no grid-power access. This is expected to significantly reduce greenhouse-gas
emissions and optimize business models of mobile operators worldwide.
The agreement is a part of the joint
IFC-GSMA “Green Power for Mobile” program which, in partnership with
the Netherlands’ Ministry of Foreign Affairs, promotes the use of green
power such as solar and wind at mobile network towers in remote, rural
areas around the world. As a result of the program, the total number of
green-power sites worldwide has increased by 36 percent since 2009, up
to nearly 12,600 sites today.
“IFC has seen that mobile services
can transform people’s lives and help grow local economies,” said Kent
Lupberger, IFC Global Head of Telecommunications, Media, and Technology.
“There is great opportunity for green power to help address climate change,
expand mobile services into rural areas, and in the longer term become
part of the solution for powering rural villages.”
“The lack of power infrastructure and
the availability of power are key challenges for mobile-network operators
in expanding coverage into remote and rural areas,” said Chris Locke,
Managing Director, GSMA Development Fund. “Using renewable energy improves
the economic viability of this expansion and allows the cycle of economic
and social development through mobile communication to begin.”
There are about 640,000 off-grid mobile-network
sites located in developing countries and powered by diesel generators.
Research has shown that 120,000 of these off-grid sites could adopt more
environmentally friendly green-power solutions and technologies such as
solar, wind, fuel cell, and deep-cycle batteries that would help reduce
environmental impact and be more economically beneficial.
Under the agreement, IFC and GSMA aim to develop more than 10,000 green
mobile-power sites over the next four years. The two organizations will
work together to develop industry standards, facilitate technical training,
conduct feasibility studies, and promote good business practices for green
power in the mobile telecommunications sector, with a special focus on
10 developing countries in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. Additionally,
IFC will provide a $821,000 grant and advisory services on clean energy
and sustainable private sector financing.
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is the largest global development
institution focused exclusively on the private sector. We help developing
countries achieve sustainable growth by financing investment, mobilizing
capital in international financial markets, and providing advisory services
to businesses and governments. In FY12, our investments reached an all-time
high of more than $20 billion, leveraging the power of the private sector
to create jobs, spark innovation, and tackle the world’s most pressing
development challenges. For more information, visit www.ifc.org.
GSMA represents the interests of mobile
operators worldwide, spanning more than 220 countries. It unites nearly
800 mobile operators and more than 200 companies in the broader mobile
ecosystem, including handset makers, software companies, equipment providers,
Internet companies, and media and entertainment organizations. GSMA also
produces industry-leading events such as the Mobile World Congress and
Mobile Asia Expo. For more information, visit www.gsma.com
or visit Mobile World Live at www.mobileworldlive.com.