Apple Says it Runs on 100 Percent Renewable Energy (Updated)

Posted on April 9, 2018 by Paul Thurrott in Apple, Hardware, iOS, Mobile with 44 Comments

Apple Says it Runs on 100 Percent Renewable Energy

UPDATE: Apple says a lot of things, as it turns out. Apple’s milestone here is, in fact, no different from Google’s. It’s just that Apple slips into lying more easily than Google does. “Apple, like Google, is not actually 100 percent powered by clean energy, but it uses the term to signal that it buys enough green energy to offset its global power consumption.,” The Verge clarifies. –Paul

One-upping Google, Apple today announced that it is running its business on 100 percent renewable energy.

“We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it,” Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a prepared statement. “After years of hard work, we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone.”

Less than a week ago, Google announced a similar if seemingly less impressive milestone: It is matching the energy consumption of its operations with purchased renewable energy which it returns to a power grid somewhere. To be clear, the search giant is not powering its operations solely with 100 percent renewable energy. It is buying renewable energy in the same amount as it is consuming.

Google said that running its operations entirely on renewable energy is “impossible.” But according to Apple, it is doing just that: Its retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries are all powered by renewable energy.

Additionally, nine of Apple’s manufacturing partners—e.g. the companies that actually make Apple products—and 23 suppliers have all committed to powering all of their work for Apple with 100 percent clean energy by some unspecified date.

 

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Comments (44)

44 responses to “Apple Says it Runs on 100 Percent Renewable Energy (Updated)”

  1. marbo100

    When do we get a report explaining how they are powering their retail locations on 100 percent clean energy? I'd really like to know how the one store in the Mall is on 100% clean energy and all the stores next to it aren't.

    • PincasX

      In reply to marbo100:

      Apple hasn’t updated said report with today’s press release but you will find it here when they do. They update it yearly.


      www apple com/environment/


    • Mestiphal

      In reply to marbo100:

      It was explained in the Google article; they buy renewable energy, don't produce it. So, lets say the store at your Mall consumes 20K a year in energy, which is obviously being provided by the regular electric company. Apple, elsewhere is buying 20K of renewable energy and injecting that energy back in the electric grill.


      Keep in mind renewable energy doesn't mean we can eliminate electric power plants. If it's sun power, it only works during the day, wind only when it blows, water is good, unless there is a draught. Renewable energy plants produce a good amount of energy and inject it back into the same power lines in the city, that means that during those hours the electric company has to produce less energy.

      • bluvg

        In reply to Mestiphal:

        "Apple today announced that it is running its business on 100 percent renewable energy."


        So, either the quote is wrong, or Apple is stretching the truth?

      • MikeGalos

        In reply to Mestiphal:

        No. That's what Google says they're doing. Paul's article says that unlike Google, Apple is claiming that they are actually using only renewable energy and not just buying credits. Which is, given their retail presence, not very likely to be true.

        • PincasX

          In reply to MikeGalos:

          Do you have anything to back of your accusation or is this like the time you said Apple faked a HomePod demo despite no demo actually happening? Someone certainly has issue with the truth here but it isn't Apple.

          • skane2600

            In reply to PincasX:

            The HomePod demo thing is getting old. It has become an ad hominem argument.

          • marbo100

            In reply to PincasX:

            I just want Apple to explain how their retail locations are using 100% renewable energy. I'm not saying they're not but they say they are. I just want to know how. And I mean using, not offsetting.

            • PincasX

              In reply to marbo100:

              I understood the question and pointed you to where Apple provides detail on what they are doing. There is a lengthy document you can download and read that provides additional information.

              • marbo100

                In reply to PincasX:

                You also said it was out of date and only updated yearly. I'm not wasting my time fact checking Apple. Either they provide the information when they make the claim or they're hiding behind their press release and maybe being less than truthful. Until it's made clear what's what, I guess I'll just have to assume it's bullshit.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to marbo100:

                  Funny, you have gone from “I’m not saying there are not” to calling it “bullshit” in 24 hours.


                  Let’s be honest here, you don’t really give a shit about the question you asked or the actual facts you simply are looking for reasons to be critical.

                • marbo100

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  I said I'm assuming it's bullshit. And since Paul updated the story above, it turns out it was bullshit. So there we go.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to marbo100:

                  Guess you were lucky that when the fact rolled out they alined with your bias!



                • marbo100

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  Or maybe I just think every business spews bullshit when it comes to PR. Do you feel disappointed that your bias wasn't satisfied?

                • PincasX

                  In reply to marbo100:

                  My bias was toward knowing the facts before coming to a conclusions. I know the idea that is a radical notion around here but I still find it to be a sound approach. You’ll notice I simple pointed to where data you wanted to know would be published. Anyway, given that we have more complete information I’d say my bias was satisfied. Bonus that I also retain intellectual credibility.

                • marbo100

                  In reply to PincasX:

                  Don't attack me because you feel I insulted apple. I just said I assumed it was bullshit. There is no company as large as apple that has gone 100% renewable. If they aren't going to provide details on their claims that are somewhat groundbreaking, there will naturally be doubt unless they justify them. I don't want apple to be liars but if they go 100% renewable I want to know how and how much it's costing them because that would be real news that I would want to know.

                • PincasX

                  In reply to marbo100:

                  I'm not "attacking you". I provided you a link to where the answer to your question would be provided. The only way that can be an attack is if you were asking the question for some other reason than a genuine interest in the answer.


                  I also pointed out that you statements were contradictory (they were). My comments actually have little to do with Apple and 100% to do with your lack of critical thinking skills. If that is an attack then so be it, disingenuous crap is totally worth criticism.


          • karlinhigh

            In reply to PincasX:

            I understand Apple Stores are usually in malls. Are all those malls run by 100% renewable energy? If not, how does one store in a mall have a power source different than the rest of the stores? Do the Apple Stores each have separate power lines coming in? Big solar panels on the roof and battery packs somewhere?


            It seems far more likely that Apple would just pay renewable energy companies for the same amount of energy as they use, like... "Our Apple Store here bought 5,000 KWh off the grid, never mind where it came from. And then we bought another 5,000 KWh from a wind or solar farm, then sold it back to the grid at whatever the going price was. Therefore, 5000 on, 5000 off, it's all renewable, see?

            • PincasX

              In reply to karlinhigh:

              I don’t know the answers to your questions but then neither do you. You seem to think a lack of answers frees you to come up with the conclusion of your likely. I’m content waiting for Apple to publish its 2018 version of their environmental efforts document since it is published anually. If you looked at the link I posted you would see that they call out where they use offsets vs. running directly off of renewable energy.


  2. hrlngrv

    Dunno. The glow of their amassed egos my outdo a dozen nuclear reactors.

  3. obarthelemy

    Does that include the subcontractors, or only the Apple campus ?

  4. HoloLensman

    Given that there is no such thing as renewable energy, that is quite amazing.

  5. Jhambi

    Wasn't there a recent report that Apple move icloud hosting to Google ? icloud doest count as Apple?

    • PincasX

      In reply to Jhambi:

      Apple moved some of its services to Google hosting. If you read the article or the actual press release you will see that Apple is talking about Apple owned/operated locations and not that of is suppliers. The last paragraph of Paul's article talks about how Apple is working on getting its suppliers to renewable energy for work they do on behalf of Apple. Google would fall into the supplier category.

  6. Davor Radman

    Yeah, until suppliers all do that as well, this is a spin.

  7. RM

    I think I read recently that iCloud was being run on Azure and then recently moved to Google for raw storage, so is that also 100% powered by renewable energy? Basically Apple has some office buildings, a few web sites, and its retail stores. I can see the office buildings and web sites being run by renewable, but the retail stores in shopping malls I have a hard time believing that one.

  8. FullyLoaded

    So how does this actually work? If they spend X number of dollars per year on power from 'dirty' power companies then they also just give X number of dollars to 'green' power companies?

  9. Nicholas Kathrein

    It's extremely hard to power such big and vast companies with 100 % renewable is near impossible as you can't always choose but buying offsets helps support the renewable industry. I hope more companies do step up.

  10. jchampeau

    I'm curious how this works too. If 75% of the power they actually consume comes from "clean" sources and the other 25% comes from traditional sources, but they buy enough clean energy to equal 100% of their consumption, then they're actually buying 125% of the power they need. Are they, in effect, making a donation to whoever is producing the clean energy by only using 75% of the energy they're paying for?

    • coeus89

      In reply to jchampeau:

      As an example, say there is a solar farm in Arizona. Apple buys the power from the Arizona solar farm for it's California offices. The power that the solar farm actually produces probably does not actually make it to California. Apple gets the "actual power" that it consumes off of the same power grid everyone else does. It is just paying the solar farm to supply the power it consumes from the grid. There is no way for a company, short of building it's own solar/wind farm, to guarantee that the electrons it uses off of the grid come from renewable sources. It is still only paying for the power that it actually consumes.

      • jchampeau

        In reply to coeus89:

        Makes sense. Inasmuch as Apple's misleading and ambiguous claim can possibly make sense. It seems no one who gets power from the public grid can claim any amount of it comes from any particular source since they have no control over where it actually comes from. When Apple builds a wind farm next to each of its data centers, then I want to hear about it. When Apple does the corporate version of checking the box on their electricity bill that says "Yes, I want wind power for an extra $15 per month!", I don't.

  11. ben55124

    Those factory workers are only using their upper bodies to assemble iPhones. Lets put them on treadmills connected to generators.

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