Exploring the Potential of Renewable Energy in Telecommunications Industry

University essay from KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM); KTH/Skolan för industriell teknik och management (ITM)

Abstract: Renewable energy sources have started to substitute traditional energy sources in power sector, heating/cooling sector, and transportation sector. This paper explores the potential of renewable energy (mainly solar and wind) in Information and Communication Technologies (ICT) industry. The focus is on mobile telecommunication infrastructure segment, since it is a prime consumer of energy within the ICT industry. Moving towards solar or wind power sources might bring a major shift in the ICT industry – both on the technological level as well as the service provisioning level. An overview of innovative technological solutions for solar/wind powered telecom networks is provided with a discussion on technological feasibility of innovative standalone solar/wind powered base stations. The market value of these innovative solutions as well as potential power savings are estimated in the total addressable market, the potential market, and the real market. The industry attractiveness of the innovation solutions is assessed using the Porter’s five forces and SWOT frameworks. Furthermore, these innovative solutions are assessed for their potential diffusion likelihood in different scenarios. There are several potential driving forces for the transformation towards solar/wind powered telecom networks. Based on the most important driving forces, plausible scenarios of the future have been identified and analyzed. It is identified that the renewable energy driven transformation in the ICT industry can affect developments in other industries such as automotive, agriculture, healthcare, and transportation industries.

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