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Lower Electricity Consumption by Base Stations Gets World Bank Funding

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IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, is investing $12 million in Flexenclosure, a developer of intelligent power management solutions and modular data centers. Based in Sweden, Flexenclosure helps mobile telephone operators and tower companies in developing countries make greater use of renewable energy and cut costs by optimizing their energy consumption.

The rising costs of diesel fuel, and lack of access to reliable energy grids is hampering the spread of mobile-phone coverage in rural areas of emerging markets -- particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific. Flexenclosure provides an effective solution -- eSite, an intelligent power management system built on the company's patented Diriflex control software that enables the company's clients to optimize available energy sources in the most efficient manner. The system provides energy cost savings of up to 90 percent.

As telecom companies further expand their services to meet increasing customer demands, Flexenclosure has developed eCentre - a complete, pre-fabricated, modular solution to house and power data and telecom equipment. Optimized for energy efficiency, eCentre is specifically designed to be fast to deploy and fully future proof, providing operators with a superior, modern and greener alternative to traditional brick and mortar structures.

Andrew Bartley, IFC's Chief Investment Officer for Telecoms, Media, and Technology, said: "An estimated 800,000 cellular base stations in emerging markets rely on diesel generators for their power supply. This is a great potential market for Flexenclosure's innovative product offering. Its growth strategy is directly aligned with IFC's goal to improve access to mobile-phone systems for people in rural areas in emerging markets while also reducing global greenhouse-gas emissions."

Since 2009, IFC has partnered with the GSM Association to promote the Green Power for Mobile initiative to extend mobile network coverage beyond the electricity grid and reduce energy costs and greenhouse emissions in emerging markets. The program promotes the use of renewable and alternative energy at off-grid or unreliable grid-connected cellular base stations. This could save an estimated 2.5 billion liters of diesel per year and reduce annual greenhouse emissions by up to 6.8 million tons.

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