"Internet access is a fundamental human right such as the freedom of expression and freedom to access information"

                                                      by Viviane Reding (VP, European Commission)

Introduction to the Project

With a staggering world population of 6.9 billion people, there are only 5.3 billion global mobile cellular subscribers which represent 77% of the world population[1,2]. But only about 2 billion people globally actually have access to the internet which represents 29% of the world population[3]. In 2009, the EU Parliament approved a law ensuring Internet access as a fundamental human right[4]. Internet access was deemed to be extremely connected to the Right to Information.

The need for telecommunication in remote areas where grid connection is inaccessible, necessitates the use of renewable energy to power telecommunication base stations. Hence the need to design an efficient and cost- effective power source via renewable energy sources such as PV panels, Wind turbines, Hydropower, fuel cells or a combination of these technologies.

In order to replace diesel powered telecommunication sites with the best combination of off-grid renewable energy sources, we analysed the cooling requirements and reduction of shelter insulation from industry set standards.

This project delved into two case studies, namely: India and Nigeria, both of which have similar substandard power grid infrastructure and non-existing grid networks in rural areas.

Project objectives:

  • Determine the optimum combination of renewable system for tropical climates
  • Identify the impact of climate on the telecommunication station site
  • Analyze the economic benefits from implementing renewable energy
  • Determine the environmental effect of application of the renewable energy sources in the region

References used:

  1. International Programs Center, U.S. Census Bureau available at: http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html
  2. Global Mobile Statistics. Available at: http://mobithinking.com/stats-corner/
  3. International World Statistics. Available at: http://www.internetworldstats.com/stats.htm
  4. Beta News Article on EU Parliament approves law ensuring Internet access as a fundamental right. Available at: http://www.betanews.com/article/EU-Parliament-approves-law-ensuring-Internet-access-as-a-fundamental-right/1241651104

© 2011 MSc Renewable Energy Systems and the Environment Group Project