To make the telecom sector greener, the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (Trai) has recommended 40 per cent reduction in carbon emission in telecom networks by 2022-23 considering 2011-12 as the base year. It has set a target of 5 per cent reduction by 2012-13, 8 per cent by 2014-15, 12 per cent by 2016-17 and 17 per cent by 2018-19.
“The target for reduction in carbon emission be set as 30 per cent by year 2019-20 taking base year as 2011-12 and 40 per cent by the year 2022-23. The targets should be reviewed in the year 2022-23,” Trai said in its recommendation to the Department of Telecom (DoT) on approach towards sustainable telecommunications.
Trai pointed out that since the year 2017-18 is ongoing, the target for carbon emission reduction should be set for the next three to four years, after which the recommendations and targets could be reviewed. It said that if the recommendations were implemented by the DoT, telecom operators should submit the report of carbon footprint annually within 45 days after March of every year. “The first report of the carbon footprint for the base year 2011-12 as per revised formula should be submitted within 3 months from the date of issue of the directions/ instructions by DoT,” the regulator said.
To encourage telecom companies to adopt clean energy alternatives, the sector watchdog has suggested that the government should pass all the benefits granted under various schemes for using renewable energy technologies (RET) to the operators.
It said that the telecom operators should voluntarily adopt RET solutions, energy efficient equipment, and high capacity fast charging storage solutions to meet the target for reduction of carbon footprint. It has also suggested that the electricity generated by the RET solutions funded or maintained by the telecom operators should be subtracted from overall carbon emission of the company, irrespective of its use.
Furthermore, the regulator has suggested to the government that if the DoT adopts the recommendations, it should allow the service providers to adopt a Voluntary Code of Practice “encompassing energy efficient network planning, infra-sharing, deployment of energy efficient technologies and adoption of RET.” “Service providers through their associations should consensually evolve the voluntary code of practice and submit the same to Trai within three months from the date of issue of the direction,” it said.