Philippines operator Smart Communications has announced plans to roll out fuel cell sites in off-grid or hard-to-reach areas nationwide. This rollout starts in the second quarter of 2021 and will continue until the end of the year.
These plans will be made possible through a partnership with Denmark-based renewable energy company SerEnergy, a developer and supplier of methanol-based fuel cell solutions. The company will install over 90 green cell sites for Smart.
In a fuel cell, hydrogen and oxygen are combined to generate electricity, heat, and water to produce electricity through an electrochemical reaction, instead of combustion. The SerEnergy system is based on methanol-powered fuel, which can be combined with solar, wind and other renewable resources to present a sustainable, cost-effective eco-system.
Stationary fuel cells provide virtually emission-free power. When using fuel generated from renewable sources such as biomass, fuel cells are completely carbon neutral.
Aside from the environmental benefits of fuel cell-powered sites, the technology is said to be more cost-effective over the lifetime of the unit compared to existing technologies, to offer higher reliability, and to operate with low noise and vibration.
Smart’s shift to green energy follows the announcement from the Department of Energy in late 2020 that the government will no longer accept proposals to build new coal power plants.
Smart has also committed to the Race to Zero campaign of the United Nations and GSM Association, as a member of the trade alliance's Climate Action Task Force, and is promoting a Live Smarter for a Better World campaign, through which Smart intends to inspire people to commit to sustainable actions with lasting, positive impact on society.