Europe has never paid as much for energy as it is in today’s market.
With the global pandemic, geo-political tensions, supply chain disruption, and many energy suppliers going out of business, energy prices are at an all-time high – an increase of 200% in the past two years alone. This upward trend shows no signs of slowing down and is actually expected to continue increasing until 2025.
As the UK plans to shut down coal-fired power plants, this energy must be replaced with natural gas. Europe’s largest gas supplier, Russia, imports about a third of Europe’s natural gas and is feared to weaponize their gas reserves over the current Ukraine crisis. Luckily, the UK does not heavily rely on Russia with half of its natural gas being imported from the North Sea and a third from Norway, with remaining liquified petroleum gas (LPG) from Qatar and the US. Gas prices are, however, highly sensitive and interlinked so a rise in gas prices in Germany, for instance, would result in higher gas prices and market volatility in Britain.
5G and the Future of Energy.
5G is the future of wireless technology and our ever-connected world, with 5G towers not only being much faster but also 90% more energy efficient than the previous generation of 4G. However, despite being more energy efficient per tower, 5G requires significantly more towers than 4G, so the overall 5G network will demand 70% more power than its predecessor, drastically affecting Telco companies’ profits. By 2025, the communications industry is expected to consume one fifth of global electricity, with billions of smart phones, tablets, and computers sending and storing data, spending extensive amounts of energy on servers, data centers (which exhibit enormous cooling costs), and towers.
Figure 1: Solar panels at base of telecommunications tower
Electricity is the second largest cost for 5G telecommunication businesses. Adding solar panels to telecom towers can improve Telco companies’ bottom line by saving 40% on their electricity consumption while also hitting their carbon footprint targets aimed at a net-zero transition. Since 2009, solar prices have plummeted 89% and is currently cheaper than coal. Solar also has the added benefit of providing resiliency and protection against unexpected grid power outages, which for telecom companies is critical as they must serve their customers 24/7.
How can PowerMarket help reduce the energy impact of 5G?
Previously, Telco companies wanted to include solar as a part of their strategy yet lacked the data to clearly evaluate its impact. PowerMarket’s software can streamline the solar project in a seamless and easy to understand way, from calculating the return on investment (ROI) to monitoring the performance and monitoring of the solar system remotely on one convenient digital platform.
Figure 2: PowerMarket's software solution provides continuous support across each phase of a solar project
PowerMarket is a clean technology, software as a service (SaaS) start-up that helps Telecom companies simplify and adopt solar energy projects, saving customers 90% of their time and valuable resources. The solar project is digitally centralized on PowerMarket’s artificial intelligence and machine learning platform, which utilizes satellite and weather data to discover the optimal locations to install solar, execute the project, and remotely monitor the assets from the conveniency of a smart phone. All data, communication, and documents are securely stored in one place for the entire 25-year life of the solar system. Utility-scale solar projects typically require a large CAPEX commitment to start (£5M+), yet PowerMarket provides the data and resources to scale a solar project with an initial investment as small as £10,000. PowerMarket’s turn-key solution is the result of years of research backed by the University of Oxford and the European Space Agency and is the future of solar deployment.