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Apple Commits To 100% Renewable Energy Sources for NC Data Center 108

Posted by Unknown Lamer
from the hippie-fired-power-plant dept.
judgecorp writes "Stung by continued criticism from Greenpeace and protests at Apple's headquarters over its use of electricity from non-renewable sources, Apple has promised that its data center in Maiden, North Carolina will use 100 percent renewable electricity, 60 percent of it generated by Apple itself. The update is possible because it is building a second giant solar array, and because its data center only needs 20MW at full capacity, instead of the 100MW which Greenpeace had estimated."
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Apple Commits To 100% Renewable Energy Sources for NC Data Center

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  • But... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by biodata (1981610) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @11:20AM (#40051311)
    is the solar array built using renewable energy?
  • by Anonymous Coward on Saturday May 19, 2012 @11:21AM (#40051313)
    I'm SHOCKED!
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @11:27AM (#40051351)

    We really need to stop giving Greenpeace press. They just make things worse.
    I am for more environmental conscious companies. However Greenpeace with its lies and over exaggerations, make it seem companies who are trying to do the right thing are doing nearly enough, or give estimates that a company knows it cannot meet, so may just scrap the whole idea. or because they are being called the environmental bad guys even when they did the good thing, they will not try to improve their press relations much on that topic.
     

  • what "estimate"??? (Score:3, Insightful)

    by sribe (304414) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @11:52AM (#40051511)

    Greenpeace did not estimate anything. They pulled a number out of their asses.

    Now of course they'll try to take credit for Apple's "change of heart". Even though the Apple announcement clarifies that the reason they're going from 50% to 100% is that they have now, after presumably months of work on it, been able to acquire an additional 100 acres (40 hectares) of land for a second solar array.

  • Re:But... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MtHuurne (602934) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @11:53AM (#40051515) Homepage

    The array will produce far more energy during its lifetime than was used to produce and install it. So while it would be nice if it was built with renewable energy, it's not all that important.

  • Re:foo (Score:5, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:01PM (#40051553)
    Bloom Energy fuel cells can run on any hydrocarbon gas like propane, butane, methane, etc. It has different efficiencies based on the gas. In Apple's case they are attempting to use waste gas coming from a landfill which is mostly methane. It's not renewable per se but much greener than drilling. The renewable was the solar array (which they already built one). This news is for the second array which will increase the amount of green energy the plant uses. I think however Apple was planning this all along as they provisioned for it in their site design. Greenpeace wants to take credit for making Apple do it when they were always going to do it.
  • by gnasher719 (869701) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:02PM (#40051561)

    Unless you think that getting Apple to move to 100% renewable power is making things worse, it's hard to see how you arrived at the above conclusion from this article. It seems to me that this was a win all around.

    Do you really, really think that Apple would do anything because of Greenpeace? Greenpeace has been attacking Apple for years, after Apple refused to donate money to the worthy cause. And again and again their attacks have been proven to be completely clueless.

    If Apple is using 100% renewable power for some data centre, then the only reason for that is that they planned to do exactly that from the start.

  • by wisebabo (638845) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:18PM (#40051695) Journal

    Since Apple announced "their planned solar array" just "days after Greenpeace's protest" it is clear Greenpeace didn't push them into doing anything (except maybe making their press release earlier). You don't spec, design, budget and plan a multi-megawatt facility in a few days.

    I'm as green/liberal as any other guy (supported Gore, yada yada) but this Apple bashing just because they're Apple is stupid. Why don't people make a fuss about Google or Facebook? Likewise I like my non-Apple electronics (my hi-def TV says "SAMSUNG") but don't people get the fact that EVERYBODY makes their electronics in Chinese sweatshops and that the working conditions at Apple suppliers are probably the best? That's why there are thousands of "apple-icants" whenever there's openings at Foxconn's plants making Apple products. Nobody ever focuses on the fact that ALL the other global electronics makers are building their stuff at places where the conditions are most likely considerably worse (not to mention the second and third tier companies).

  • Re:But... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by SolusSD (680489) on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:33PM (#40051811) Homepage
    would it be better to consume coal energy for the life of the datacenter, or spend a bit of (possibly dirty) energy to build renewable alternatives?
  • by jo_ham (604554) <joham999@@@gmail...com> on Saturday May 19, 2012 @12:57PM (#40051987)

    Greenpeace didn't "get" Apple to do that though, Apple were doing that anyway.

    Greenpeace just came along and accused them of lying about the numbers, then when Apple put out a press release gently correcting them, and also talking about a second data centre also targeted to be powered fully by renewable, Greenpeace can now sweep in and claim all the credit for "keeping Apple honest" and "making big companies think about being green" when really they were doing it anyway.

    Much like the very low score Greenpeace gave Apple on their "greenness" chart thing (and much lower than other companies that were nowhere near as green as Apple) because they simply hadn't done the research. For example, HP scoring big green points for making a plan to decide on when to remove BFRs from their products, and Apple scoring very low for no plan... but they'd already eliminated use of BFRs in their products 2 years before. And the same with reduced use of lead, and expanded polystyrene, and PVC in cables etc. Then when Apple releases a press release all about this, Greenpeace claim that they are the ones making Apple behave responsibly.

    Greenpeace are doing more to hurt the green cause than helping it. There's only so many times you can be a dick - like soliciting donations that will directly fun criminal damage - before people start getting turned off the message, which is the last thing we want.

    I'm as pro-green as they come - my future doctoral work will be into sustainable energy and catalytic water splitting etc - but I want absolutely nothing to do with Greenpeace. They do not represent me.

  • Re:But... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmiMoJo (196126) <mojoNO@SPAMworld3.net> on Saturday May 19, 2012 @02:25PM (#40052599) Homepage

    The upshot is that the situation with solar cells is not yet as good as we would like it to be, and I don't think that we should be recommending large uptake of solar cells as a truly environmental solution until there is an large improvement in energy required to energy produced ratio.

    2.5 times as much generated as put into production is still infinitely better than "burn a load of coal" or "produce a load of nuclear waste". It is a net gain, and drives investment and improvement in the technology. We should encourage it as much as possible.

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