With the increase of 5g base stations, 5g power consumption is large, and the problem of power consumption of base stations has accelerated to surface. At the “2020 communication industry conference and the 15th Annual communication technology conference” held recently, Gao Hongda, Ph.D. and senior researcher of the energy decision support center of the State Grid Energy Research Institute, pointed out that in the short term, the electricity charge growth of the three operators caused by 5g base stations is not obvious, and will be slightly higher than the power consumption level of the data center (about 2%) after being upgraded to 5g in 2026, The proportion of electricity cost in the operation cost of the three operators will rise significantly, and the operators will bear a large electricity cost at that time.

It is expected that the proportion of electricity cost in the operating costs of the three major operators will increase significantly by 2026

According to the data of all parties and based on the average level, the Energy Institute estimates that the average power of single base station is about 2.0kw under no-load and about 3.8kw under full load. According to the general technical standard of communication base station, the power of air conditioning system accounts for 50% of the power consumption of the whole base station. Therefore, with the air conditioning system, the annual operation time of a single base station: according to the annual operation estimation of the base station, the annual operation time is 24 hours / the power consumption of a single base station is about 4.0kw-7.6kw.

However, according to the prediction of power consumption of the whole society, the growth of power demand faces great uncertainty. Gao Hongda said that in 2019, China’s total electricity consumption will be 7225.5 billion kwh. It is difficult to judge the power demand in the 14th five year plan. Facing the dual research and judgment challenges of economic development trend and economic and power relations, different institutions predict that the growth rate of power consumption in the 14th five year plan will be between 3% – 5%. The huge difference highlights the uncertainty of future development prospects.

“Affected by the superposition of different policies and factors, the State Grid Energy Institute predicts that the five-year average growth rate of power consumption in the whole society from 2020 to 2035 is 5.5%, 5.6%, 2.9% and 1.8% respectively.”

It is reported that in 2019, the power consumption of 5g base stations in China accounted for about 0.05% of the power consumption of the whole society. By 2023, the power consumption of 5g base stations accounted for 1.3% of the power consumption of the whole society. By 2026, the power consumption of 5g base stations accounted for 2.1% of the power consumption of the whole society. Among them, the sensitivity calculation of 5g base station power consumption to single base station power consumption is to obtain the future power consumption of 5g base stations in China according to the predicted 5g single base station power consumption and the number of base stations. According to the prediction data of power consumption of the whole society in the future, the predicted share of power consumption of 5g base stations in the whole society is given.

Gao Hongda pointed out that in the short term, due to the small number and scale of 5g base stations, the impact on the power consumption of the whole society is not significant. In the long term, due to technological progress, the power consumption of 5g single base station may decrease, and the proportion of actual power consumption in the future may be lower than the estimated value. “At present, the actual power demand for 5g is expected to tend to static calculation, and the specific situation needs to be continuously tracked and observed. To sum up, the construction of 5g base station will follow the pace of gradual development in the future, and the overall growth rate of power consumption is moderate.”

In view of the high energy consumption of 5g base stations, Gao Hongda said that the power sector supports 5g development through various forms of measures. For example, promote the co construction and sharing of power infrastructure, promote the conversion of 5g base stations to direct power supply, and adopt peak valley time of use tariff to reduce the electricity expenditure of 5g base stations.

“Conversion to direct” means that the qualified 5g base stations are transformed into direct power supply, promote the transformation of qualified stock power conversion base stations, optimize the application and approval process of 5g facility power supply, make overall planning and coordination of grid side resources, and optimize expansion, installation and power consumption.

“Green channel”, after adopting direct power supply, we can adopt peak valley time of use price, strive to reduce the low valley price of 5g base station, and guide operators to adjust peak power consumption, so as to jointly promote the reduction of electricity cost of 5g system construction.

“Resource sharing”, power enterprises have huge tower resources, a considerable part of which can meet the mounting requirements of communication equipment. 5g infrastructure sharing can save social costs, revitalize stock resources, unify integrated management and improve resource utilization.

Gao Hongda said that power grid enterprises are also exploring the potential cooperation mode of 5g with operators. In June 2019, the national song 5g network slice enabled smart grid commercial feasibility industry report was released. In June 2020, China Mobile, China Southern Power Grid and Huawei jointly released the white paper on 5g boosting smart grid application.

He elaborated three feasible cooperation modes: first, relying on the 5g slice service and leasing mode of the public network, operators uniformly build an end-to-end 5g public network, and power enterprises rent one or more slices of the operator’s public network, which is the “traffic era” of nuggets. The second is the hybrid leasing mode. Power enterprises rent the base station and core network of the operator’s 5g network, build their own core network management surface, and use the existing optical fiber transmission private network to realize hybrid slicing networking. The third is the slice hosting mode. Power enterprises invest in building their own 5g private network, which also uses multiple slices to carry different internal business scenarios and needs. At the same time, telecom operators provide agent peacekeeping management services.

Responsible editor: GT

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