The Rise of
Green Broadcast Towers


Recent developments in renewable energies might overthrow the diesel generator as the technology of choice for off-grid mobile base stations.

Renewable energy has evolved considerably over the last couple of years, so much, in fact, that solutions recently deemed to be unfeasible might now warrant a second look.

Take broadcast operators, for instance: diesel generators are usually preferred over renewable energy based solutions for remote off-grid base stations, because they are cheaper and more reliable.

Global radio and television broadcasters will continue to grow over the next 10 years. Increased demand for enriched media traffic over radio and television channels will drive demand for additional base stations, particularly in emergent regions.

A non-negligible part of these base stations will need to be deployed in remote regions with no access to the electrical grid. Diesel or propane generators are often used to power these off-grid broadcasting towers, despite the high operation & maintenance costs. These generators are sometimes combined with renewable energy (typically solar PV, wind, or both) but 100 percent renewable energy systems are rare, since the lower operation & maintenance costs are usually not enough to offset the higher capital costs and the risk of intermittence due to the lack of solar or wind resources.

Three recent developments might change this, particularly for solar PV based solutions deployed in the sunbelt countries: lower PV prices, more robust off-grid technology, and a broader availability of ESCOs (Energy Service Companies).

Decreasing Solar PV

Prices Solar photovoltaic has historically been one of the most capital-intensive forms of renewable energy. PV module spot prices have keep falling immensely through recent years thus putting PV closer to wind energy, one of the cheapest sources of renewable energy.

More Robust Off-grid Technology

Most of the existing PV and wind installations are grid-connected. That means that cloudy or windless days are not an issue, since the electrical grid will act as a backup system. That is not the case with off-grid base stations, hindering the use of standard standalone PV and wind solutions. One of these developments is the micro-grid, a combination of hardware and software that allows for the integration and optimized management of multiple energy sources.

High efficient ELTI digital transmitters TERX

Development of renewable energies goes hand by hand with the development of ELTI high efficient digital transmitters with very low power consumption thus making them a perfect solution for remote base stations supplied either with DC power input from PV solar panels, wind solutions or combination of both via micro-grids.