According to internal estimates conducted by Telenor Pakistan's Power Planning Team, the telecom industry alone burns around 80 million liters of diesel annually due to shortfall of grid supply, which results in 206 thousand tons of carbon emissions. The indirect emissions from use of grid power are significant too, owing to the fossil fuel intensive local energy mix. While the government’s efforts and commitment – such as National Broadband Policy 2021 that includes carbon reduction targets for telecom companies – are commendable, the private sector must join hands in this effort to have a meaningful impact. Telenor Pakistan welcomes this policy development, which is well aligned with their climate and environment ambitions.
Telenor Group’s CEO calls for a joint mobile industry effort to ensure renewable electricity in developing countries’ grids
Cecilie: Irfan, what is Telenor Pakistan doing to reach Telenor’s 2030 climate ambitions?
Irfan: Network power remains the primary contributor towards our carbon footprint. Transformation of our network is crucial in meeting our 2030 targets, part of which is to reduce CO2 emissions by 50%, (baseline 2019) by the year 2030, in line with the Telenor Group’s commitment to Science Based Target initiative. This includes ambitions related to both network and office buildings infrastructure. Thunderbolt, our flagship energy program, will enable us to produce and conserve clean energy by deploying solar solutions with Lithium-ion batteries. Almost 33% of our sites are now equipped with the Lithium-ion technology, and we are planning to upgrade 550 sites annually for the next two years. Importantly, 17% of our built sites have already been converted to primarily rely on renewable energy.
The impact from Thunderbolt is promising, but there’s still a long way to go. I find optimism in knowing that Thunderbolt has resulted in 6,072 tons of CO2 savings in 2020 and 16,869 tons in 2021 – a progressive improvement, and dare I say, an impressive one for the efforts our local teams have taken.