~Tower Power: Improving Air Quality and Electricity Access in India~
NEW YORK, Sept. 24, 2012 /PRNewswire/ - Westport Innovations Inc. (TSX:WPT) ( NASDAQ:WPRT), the global leader in natural gas engines, is bringing its expertise to help improve air quality and access to electricity in rural India, through a Commitment to Action announced at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Annual Meeting.
Westport and its partners' Commitment to Action aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from mobile phone tower generators by using natural gas, while also providing residual power to nearby villages that are currently off the grid.
India's electric grid is challenged by a growing number of mobile phone towers, and many are powered totally or in part by diesel generators. According to the Telecom Regulatory Authority of India (TRAI), there are close to 400,000 off-grid mobile phone towers in the country which use about two billion litres of fuel annually. This releases 6.5 million tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2), making these towers the second largest source of greenhouse gas emissions in the country."By 2015, there will be close to a billion mobile phone users in India, so there's an urgent need for cleaner energy sources to power the industry," said Nicholas Sonntag, Westport Executive Vice President of Corporate Development & New Partnerships. " Westport has an opportunity to apply its expertise in natural gas transportation technology to find solutions for telecom and community power." The CGI Commitment to Action, "Tower Power: Helping Rural Communities Establish Clean Energy Solutions," aims to identify and develop a natural gas fuel supply, engine technology, and power distribution that will reduce emissions, and create a consistent and reliable power supply to the phone towers. Another critical benefit is the ability to direct residual power to local communities for other needs.