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Myanmar telecommunications forum showcases role of renewable energy


Sunlabob CEO presents renewable energy service model for rural telecommunications and communities

Sunlabob CEO Andy Schroeter recently presented at the “Green Power for Mobile” forum in Yangon, Myanmar. Hosted by the global telecommunications industry group GSMA Association (GSMA), the event brought together telecoms operators, tower companies, financiers and energy experts to discuss the best paths for utilizing renewable energy to facilitate the industry’s rapid growth in Myanmar.

Sunlabob’s presentation, in coordination with local partner Relitec, focused on the business opportunities for providing renewable energy supply to off-grid telecom towers and nearby rural communities.

“The enormous need for reliable energy in off-grid rural areas of Myanmar present a unique opportunity – economically, socially and environmentally – to employ renewable energy for the benefit of the telecommunications industry as well as rural people living without little to no access to electricity,” said Schroeter.

Less than 30 percent of Myanmar’s population lacks access to grid-connected electricity; an estimated 4 percent of rural inhabitants have grid power.

The burgeoning telecommunications industry also faces significant electricity challenges; up to 10,000 towers need to be built in rural, off-grid regions of Myanmar in the coming five years despite any available supply of energy.

Schroeter noted in his presentation that excess electricity from the telecoms towers can be exploited to supply energy to nearby communities, offering the opportunity to enable critical community services such as healthcare, lighting and income-generation.

“Knowing that thousands of off-grid telecom towers will be built in the coming years, the opportunity to provide power to towers and neighboring communities in parallel is a proposition in need of serious consideration,” added Schroeter.