Apple Data Centres Use Only Renewable Energy

Apple has announced its data centres use 100 percent renewable energy, while the organisation as a whole uses 75 percent renewables. Greenpeace, which has long campaigned over Apple’s efficiency record, says Apple is still damned by the company it keeps.

Having promised in May 2012 Apple would move entirely to renewable energy, the iPhone maker has now announced on its site it has made progress: all its data centres now use only renewable energy, along with other buildings in Cupertino, Cork, Austin, Munich and Elk Grove California. Environmental campaigner Greenpeace had been maintaining pressure on Apple to stop using coal power.

Green Apple?

“We’re investing in our own onsite energy production, establishing relationships with suppliers to procure renewable energy off the grid, and reducing our energy needs even as our employee base grows,” read the Apple announcement. “We won’t stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple.”

The company’s data centre in Maiden North Carolina has been the focus of the two organisations’ dispute. Apple has added two huge solar arrays to the site, as well as fuel cells for back-up. However, Greenpeace  is still doubtful about what has been achieved, because it views Apple’s electricity supplier in North Carolina, Duke Energy, as a major polluter.

“As it keeps growing the cloud, Apple still has major roadblocks to meeting its 100 percent clean energy commitment in North Carolina, where renewable energy policies are under siege and electric utility Duke Energy is intent on blocking wind and solar energy from entering the grid,” read a Greenpeace statement.

Greenpeace is running campaigns against Duke Energy, claiming it is not doing enough on renewables, and is using its political clout to back obstructive policies.

Despite its issues with Duke, Greenpeace did praise Apple’s openness – and called for more. “Apple’s increased level of disclosure about its energy sources helps customers know that their iCloud will be powered by clean energy sources, not coal,” said the environmental group. “Apple should disclose more details about how it will push utilities and state governments to help it achieve its ambitious goal in all of its data centre locations.”

Do you know Apple better than Greenpeace does? Try our quiz!

Peter Judge

Peter Judge has been involved with tech B2B publishing in the UK for many years, working at Ziff-Davis, ZDNet, IDG and Reed. His main interests are networking security, mobility and cloud

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