Orange is one of the main telecommunication operators, serving 236 million customers worldwide with 165,000 employees in over 30 countries. Offering the advantages of modern information and communication technologies to the greatest numbers of people in an environmentally-friendly way is key to the Group's commitment. For emerging nations, whose remote populations in isolated zones are not always connected to the electricity grid, the Group has implemented alternative solutions. Mobile solar energy-powered stations serve to enhance access to mobile communication services in rural sectors while ensuring environmental protection.
In africa, ORANGE sets up mobile phone masts powered entirely by solar energy
6. Clients and consumers
Access to basic services
- Implement alternative solutions to bridge the digital divide experienced across rural zones of emerging nations.
For over 30 years, Orange has been involved in research on applying renewable energy in its core activities. An initial photovoltaic installation was built as early as 1975 in New Caledonia. Today, the Group is focusing its efforts on solar energy supplies of its base stations (relay masts) to promote mobile communications in Africa and Southern European countries. This initiative serves to extend service into zones not covered by electricity grids and difficult to access for organizing fuel oil deliveries.
By the end of 2013, a total of 2,310 solar sites were already up and running in 19 countries where the Group does business, 15 of which located in the Africa and Middle East zone. This figure is down somewhat due to the rural electrification of 262 solar sites in Senegal.
The inherent advantages are multifold: a system design that reduces energy consumption and improves quality of service in both the production and maintenance functions, and this extends over the long run thanks to streamlined maintenance functions.
Best practice spotted by the World Forum Lille and Réseau Alliances in 2010 and updated in 2014
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- Thanks to the rollout of 2,310 solar sites across 19 countries (including 15 countries of the AMEA zone), isolated areas are now able to receive service via the Orange mobile network: a real benefit to both customers and the company.
- Solar energy moreover offers greater safety and cost savings compared to conventional electric generating sets typically introduced in rural zones.
- These 100% solar-powered stations have allowed rejecting the use of fuel oil-powered electric generating sets, in the absence of a reliable and secure electricity grid, thus resulting in 97 million liters of fuel oil not being consumed. In other terms, a total equivalent of 600,000 tons of CO2 could be avoided over the period 2010-2013.