The duo has successfully modified a live 5G mobile site, integrating both solar and wind energy generation equipment, as well as the software to optimise supply and demand

When it comes to sustainability, for telcos the largest challenge is reducing the energy consumption of their ever-growing networks. Many of the largest operators around the world, including the likes of Orange, Vodafone, and Deutsche Telekom, have already committed to reducing their carbon emissions to net-zero by 2040 – a target that will be very difficult to achieve without rethinking the way in which they view network energy consumption. 
With this in mind, Deutsche Telekom and Ericsson have today announced a new collaboration, modifying a live 5G mobile site in Germany to support both wind and solar power generation and integration. 
The site, situated in Dittenheim, had been part-powered by 12 square metres of solar panels for over a year as part of a previous partnership between the two companies. Now, a new trial has seen wind turbines added to further boost the site’s capacity for renewable energy usage.
The combined solution is facilitated by the Ericsson Power System, which jointly controls the two power sources and the batteries also integrated into the system. This not only allows for more optimised energy consumption from the various sources, but also allows the batteries as dynamic power storage units, storing renewable energy when available. 
When conditions are right, the site can operate using energy from the renewable sources alone, without need to tap the electrical power grid.
“Ensuring an integrated management of clean, efficient and reliable power sources and usage is key for sustainable mobile site operations. Together with innovative partners we explore in trials how we can apply intelligent solutions and capabilities to optimize energy consumption and control at mobile sites,” said Leif Heitzer, SVP Technology Guidance and Economics at Deutsche Telekom.
Deutsche Telekom are not the only operator looking to incorporate renewable energy directly into their mobile sites. In November last year, Vodafone announced a similar project with renewable energy specialist Crossflow Energy, which would allow the sites to be entirely powered by wind and solar energy. Coupled with the latest battery technology, the operator hopes that this solution could allow them to deploy sites in rural areas entirely unconnected to the local energy grid.

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