Our network uses a variety of energy sources, including national grid, diesel generator, deep cycle battery and renewable energy (solar) solutions. The mix of energy sources impacts our energy efficiency and energy consumption patterns. Our focus remains on phasing out the use of diesel generators wherever possible, either by ensuring that national grid energy (which is cheaper and cleaner) is available at a site or by employing alternative energy solutions. We continue to prioritise the use of national grid energy at our larger sites (which provide critical coverage) and renewable energy-based solutions at our smaller sites (which provide additional capacity).
We are committed to promoting alternative clean energy sources across the network. As indicated in the preceding tables, we have been deploying and repairing solar sites and focused on connecting sites to the national grid, but in areas where the grid is unstable, we provision generators to ensure network availability and power redundancies. We minimise generator running times by installing deep cycle batteries. During the year, we continued to expand the network into areas outside the national grid and that lack reliable renewable sources of power, which resulted in the number of sites running diesel generators 24/7 increasing from 106 to 173.