India's mobile phone boom has a dark side for the battle against global warming, reports the Mail Today newspaper. Thanks to lightning fast growth of the mobile business--which has far outstripped increases in power generation--around two-thirds of India's 310,000 cell phone towers run on diesel fuel. And that means India's mobile phones are burning around 2 billion liters of diesel a year, generating some 5 million liters of carbon dioxide.
The good news is that the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI) plans a shift to green technologies like solar and biomass, which it says could save 5 million tonnes of carbon emission and $1.4 billion, reports the paper.
So far, only Idea Cellular has a few towers running on bio-diesel, and state-owned BSNL has started a pilot program for solar-powered at 14 sites and wind-powered towers at 6 sites. But Bharti Infratel plans to have 2,000 renewable energy sites up and running this year.