Indus Towers today said it will have 40,000 mobile towers by March that will use alternative energy sources instead of diesel to reduce carbon emissions, saving around Rs 300 crore annually.
"We have already invested Rs 360 crore in making 35,000 mobile towers green. Our definition of green tower is mobile towers running without diesel. This has led to saving of Rs 300 crore for us in energy cost which we will continue to save annually," Indus Towers Chief Executive Officer BS Shantharaju told reporters here.
The company expects to turn another 5,000 green by end of this fiscal.
It has over 1.14 lakh mobile towers across 15 out of 22 telecom service area in the country.
Bharti Infratel, the mobile tower arm of Bharti Airtel, has 42 per cent stake in the company. Vodafone and Idea Cellular equally share rest of the stake in the company.
"With this, Indus Towers has been able to reduce consumption of 54 million litres of diesel per annum as well as 140 million kg worth of carbon emissions. The energy thus saved is equivalent to planting 3.5 million trees thereby creating a cleaner environment in the country," Indus Towers Chief Operating Officer Bimal Dayal said.
The company is increasing use of batteries and solar power where possible, he added.
"We cannot completely depend on solar power. We need to use mix of green technology to make a BTS green. We are trying use of lithium-ion batteries at some sites," Indus Towers Vice President for Energy Anil Gupta said.
As per telecom regulator TRAI's recommendations, which were accepted by the government, telecom companies need to move 50 per cent of their mobile towers in rural area and 33 per cent in urban centres to renewable energy by 2015.
The rules also mandate companies to reduce their carbon footprint by 12 per cent in the financial year 2014-15 from the levels they had in 2011.