Ericsson, Deutsche Telekom Test Wind Power For 5G Site

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Renewable energy from solar and wind power could be used to mitigate soaring energy costs as operators invest billions in building out 5G sites

Ericsson and Deutsche Telekom are testing the use of wind power to mitigate soaring energy costs as telecoms operators invest in building out 5G networks.

Over the past year the trial has used solar panels to provie part of the energy requirements for a 5G site in Germany, and now a wind turbine has been added into the mix.

The technology could find interest from power-intensive industries amidst a dramatic rise in energy costs.

The project began a year ago with twelve square metres of solar panels, supplying about 10 percent of the site’s energy requirements.

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With the addition of a 5 kilowatt wind turbine, Ericsson said renewable energy could theoretically power the entire site at Dittenheim, about 100 miles north of Munich in the state of Bavaria.

Backup power is provided by a connection to the main grid.

Ericsson said its Ericsson Power System power-management technology could be quickly integrated into other existing sites in the future.

The setup includes the use of batteries as dynamic power storage units to make optimal use of generated power.

Ericsson said initial tests showed that on windy days more renewable energy could be generated than was used by site operations.

Energy costs

The company said it plans to integrate additional energy sources such as fuel cells, replacing the need for diesel generators that are currently kept in reserve for emergencies.

Telecoms operators are expected to invest some $872 billion (£698bn) in capital expenditures worldwide for the rollout of 5G networks through 2030, 1.7 times the cost of their 4G expenditures, according to Morgan Stanley.

Ericsson told Reuters energy costs for the sector are about $25bn to $30bn per year, making them nearly of the same magnitude as investments in radio and other equipment.

Germany is particularly vulnerable to rising energy costs due to its reliance on Russian fuel amidst the conflict in Ukraine.

Energy costs accounted for about 5 percent of telecom companies’ operating expenditure on average, according to McKinsey, a figure expected to increase as 5G deployments rise.