Treehugger, a renewable energy and green living media source, reported earlier this week that several companies are developing and installing solar panels especially designed for placement on cell phone signal towers. These installations, implemented on a wide scale, could provide wireless signals to previously unreachable places, which would be a big step toward a more inclusive civil infrastructure in both the United States and abroad.
In 2008, a program known as the Green Power for Mobile was launched by Groupe Speciale Mobile (GSM), a European conglomerate of communication firms. This initiative, now in its fifth year of operation, seeks to spread the use of solar-powered towers to impoverished rural areas around the world. According to its website, there are nearly 34,000 of these projects being run or completed by the GSM.
The expressed goal of this program is "extending the coverage, reducing the cost and minimizing the environmental impact of mobile networks by championing renewable energy," the organization states on its official website. There are other firms around the world, including one in India, that is also focusing on developing this kind of technology.
Treehugger stated on February 25 that one of the biggest drawbacks of traditional cell phone towers is that they can consume a significant amount of fuel annually. Additionally, the wear-and-tear incurred during operation can lead to additional costs, especially in hard-to-reach areas. By incorporating green power sources into cell phone towers, owners and administrators can devote resources more effectively and reduce the amount of money spent on maintaining these important structures.
It could be some time before Americans see solar-powered cell towers near their neighborhood. However, given the fact that the U.S. government recently renewed its green development subsidy program, communities from around the nation might turn to this unique source of power to help connect their citizens more efficiently.