T-Mobile’s 100% Renewable Energy Initiative Is Disrupting Telecom and Promoting Sustainability

Tmobile

T-Mobile is moving full speed ahead when it comes to going green, committing itself to a goal of achieving 100 percent renewable electricity by 2021, the telecommunications giant announced this January. The wireless provider formalized its commitment by joining the RE100, a coalition of companies committed to renewable energy that includes such brands as Google, Facebook, Microsoft and Nike. T-Mobile is the first wireless carrier to join the RE100, illustrating once again its role as a disruptive force in the industry. Here’s a closer look at how T-Mobile’s move is disruptive both the telecommunications industry and other industries, and how this will help cut wireless costs for consumers as well as improving the environment.

Disrupting the Telecommunications Industry

T-Mobile’s decision to pioneer 100 percent renewable energy wireless network coverage is consistent with its history as a disruptive force in the telecommunications industry. The company earned the nickname “the Uncarrier” when it listened to widespread consumer complaints about two-year contracts and began offering no contract plans for network coverage. T-Mobile has also led the way in simplifying pricing plans to remove hidden fees.

The shift to renewable electricity will further disrupt the industry by lowering prices as a byproduct of lower utility costs. T-Mobile president and CEO John Legere estimates that using renewable electricity will cut the company’s operating costs by $100 million over the next 15 years. These savings will in turn get passed on to consumers, forcing competitors to cut prices if they want to keep up with T-Mobile. T-Mobile will also gain a branding advantage for its commitment to sustainability, putting pressure on rivals to step up their own environmental efforts.

Promoting Wind Power

In order to achieve its renewable electricity goals, T-Mobile is investing in the wind power industry. Last December, T-Mobile partnered with Enel Green Power to launch its first wind power operation in Oklahoma, the Red Forks Wind Power Project, which generates 160 megawatts. In January, the company announced that it has finalized a contract with Infinity Renewables for a second 160-MW operation in Kansas, the Solomon Forks Wind Project.

The two combined projects’ output of 320 MW will generate enough electricity to supply 60 percent of T-Mobile’s national energy needs. To make up the remaining 40 percent, T-Mobile plans to buy enough wind power each year to account for the rest of the electricity the company consumes. This strategy will enable T-Mobile to meet its goal of relying 100 percent on renewable electricity by 2021.

Supporting Sustainability

T-Mobile’s move also lends its significant support and large telecommunications infrastructure to the broader corporate movement towards sustainable energy. By joining RE100, T-Mobile joins an international coalition of over 100 influential companies that share a commitment to 100 percent renewable electricity. Started at Climate Week NYC in 2014, RE100 is thriving in the U.S. and EU and is now expanding into India and China.

Use by private companies consumes half of the world’s electricity output. By supporting the RE100 initiative, T-Mobile helps influence the global business community to move to a sustainable energy model.

By pushing the telecommunications industry toward renewable electricity, promoting wind power, and supporting sustainability, T-Mobile is helping improve the environment. At the same time, by using renewable electricity to lower its operational costs, T-Mobile is disrupting the telecommunications energy by passing savings on to consumers, making mobile services more affordable as well as more eco-friendly.

About Mohit Tater

Mohit is the co-founder and editor of Entrepreneurship Life, a place where entrepreneurs, start-ups, and business owners can find wide ranging information, advice, resources, and tools for starting, running, and growing their businesses.

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