Orange’s Middle East and Africa division laid claim to being the largest deployer of solar panels in five of its markets as it continues efforts to slash the environmental impact from operations across its footprint.

In an update on deployment of renewable energy infrastructure in several of its markets, the operator boasted of an acceleration in solar projects as it strives to reach a goal of achieving a net zero carbon footprint in MEA by 2040.

Across several countries Orange is using solar panels to generate electricity alongside the latest generation of efficient battery technology as an alternative to generators running on fossil fuels. It noted this was especially relevant in areas where its infrastructure sites could not be connected to the central electricity grid.

The company highlighted it was the “biggest deployer of solar panels” in several markets and currently had a renewable energy use rate of more than 50 per cent in Guinea; 41 per cent in Madagascar; and 40 per cent in Sierra Leone.

Other notable deployments include Liberia, where 75 per cent of its sites are equipped with solar panels, and Jordan, a market where 65 per cent of its energy in 2020 came from three solar farms.

In total, Orange said it had installed solar panels at 5,400 of its telecom sites in MEA, saving an estimated 55 million litres of fuel per year.

Use of solar power is one of a number of initiatives across the operator group designed to cut its environmental impact. It also supports wider global efforts in this area, with the company bullish on the role of 5G in this ambition.