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Orange prioritizes renewable energy in Africa

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Pan-African operator Orange is accelerating its solar projects in Africa and the Middle East with a commitment to reduce its carbon footprint to zero by 2040.

Orange said that across the entire region, many telecoms sites are not connected to the electricity grid and when they are, the quality of the grid often requires alternative backup solutions.

To avoid using generators that run on fossil fuels, Orange is deploying renewable energy initiatives like solar power and the latest generation batteries with partners specializing in energy.

Orange already has a renewable energy use rate of over 50% for Orange Guinea, 41% for Orange Madagascar and 40% for Orange Sierra Leone. These solar panel solutions have also been, or will soon be deployed, in other African and Middle Eastern countries where Orange is present, like Liberia where 75% of Orange's telecom sites are already equipped with solar panels.

"We are proud to be the first company by number of solar panels in five countries in Africa and the Middle East. As a stakeholder in the energy transition, Orange has included in its Engage 2025 strategic plan the objective of meeting 50% of the Group's electricity needs from renewable sources by 2025. We are aiming for net zero carbon by 2040," said Alioune Ndiaye, CEO of Orange Middle East and Africa, in a statement.

In total, Orange has installed solar panels at 5,400 of its telecom sites – some are 100% solar and others are hybrid – saving 55 million liters of fuel each year.

In Jordan, Orange has launched three solar farms to switch to clean and renewable energy helping to reduce its carbon footprint. In 2020, these solar farm projects covered over 65% of Orange Jordan's energy needs.

Since 2018, the company has successfully reduced its CO2 emissions by 45 kilotons with the help of its solar infrastructure. Orange is present in 18 countries in the Middle East and Africa (MEA) and had around 130 million customers at the end of March 2021.

With €5.8 billion ($7 billion) in turnover in 2020, Orange MEA is the group's main growth region.

*Top image source: Technology photo created by pvproductions – www.freepik.com.

— Paula Gilbert, Editor, Connecting Africa

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