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Wind energy powering the transition to 5G

Renewable energy and telecoms. Two sectors set to grow dramatically over the coming years. There is a great opportunity for both to work together to deliver the energy transition.

As we digitalise more of our lives, the telecom sector’s large power demand will continue to grow. 5G is set to be up to 100 times more efficient than 4G by 2025. But the large increase in data demand may lead to doubling of energy needs within the decade. ICT demand is already set to increase from 2% to 7% of the world’s energy demand by 2030.

Yesterday, WindEurope spoke at a conference on how mobile network operators can reduce their impact on the environment by increasing the efficiency of 5G and powering their networks with renewable energy. For telecom growth to be sustainable, it is vital that the telecom sector is powered by renewables. 5G has the potential to play an important role in the energy transition by helping to improve the energy efficiency of other industrial sectors.

The telecom sector can also play an important and positive role in the energy transition by entering long-term contracts to buy electricity from a specific new renewable installation. This is a win-win for both sides of the exchange. Corporate renewable Power Purchase Agreements (PPAs) give industry long-term energy supply at fixed-prices. Most contracts are around 15 years.

Nordic countries have traditionally had the most PPAs, but the EU’s Clean Energy Package requires all EU governments to remove outstanding regulatory barriers to PPAs and we are beginning to see the results. PPAs have signed for the first time in 6 new countries in the last couple of years. The RE-Source Platform is dedicated to making PPAs easy for all European businesses. Cofounded by WindEurope – together with SolarPower Europe, RE100 and WBCSD – RE-Source provides a multi-stakeholder platform that brings together the interests of both renewable energy buyers and sellers.

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