“The market for autonomous solar powered cell sites looks set to grow from extremely modest levels today to over 40,000 renewable energy sites by the end of 2013. A further 295,000 base stations are expected to supplement on-grid power usage with solar,” said Stuart Carlaw, vice-president of ABI Research.
Still, the majority of these cellular base stations will use diesel or mains electricity to supplement their solar panels, especially in areas where population density and less solar energy require it.
Probably the developing countries will be the biggest winners as remote communities will receive phone coverage and Internet connections for the first time. According to some UN figures half of the world is still not able to make a phone call.
Other alternatives to normal electricity for base stations being considered are wind power, fuel cells and even compressed air.
Source: Market Watch