Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Apple Now Runs On “100%” Green Energy

Mark Sullivan:

“You could go out and buy carbon credits and offsets–nope,” says Jackson firmly.


“I am not aware of any other company that uses that same stringency for making sure the clean power that they’re investing in or purchasing is on the regional grid where it’s being used,” she boasts. But she acknowledges that there are still places in the world where that’s not possible, though that may have more to do with the reality of power markets than choices Apple has made. In some cases, the company has had to sign long-term contracts to acquire the RECs from a new project it helped create elsewhere in the same region. That was the case recently for a two-person office in Chile. There was no suitable green energy source nearby, so Apple is now offsetting the brown power used by that office with RECs from one of its green-power projects in Brazil.

This sounds like a reasonable thing to do in that situation, but if Apple is relying on credits/offsets I don’t think they should claim to use 100% green energy. That would imply that they can run without any brown power, which doesn’t seem to be the case. There are also questions about what the Apple stores in Nova Scotia, Perth, and Anchorage are doing.

The article also doesn’t make clear exactly what happens in areas where renewable energy may not be reliable around the clock. Are they storing solar energy in batteries during the day to use at night? Or is the “100%” a net figure meaning that enough extra is produced during the day to balance out the nighttime use? If the latter, that is really misleading.

Tim Cook:

Every Apple store, every data center, every Apple corporate office — everywhere — is now powered by 100 percent renewable energy.

I wish Cook would stop overreaching. He could be proud of what Apple has accomplished here without claiming more than it’s actually done. Just like he could have said that Apple was paying the taxes required by law without also claiming not to “depend on tax gimmicks”. Or he could have defended the reasoning behind the iPhone battery throttling without claiming that Apple had explained it when iOS 10.2.1 was released.

1 Comment RSS · Twitter

I'd be curious to know how much additional greenhouse gas is emitted by people idling in their cars, looking down at the iPhones in their laps after their light has turned green. I know that I get stuck behind those folks at least a few times a week. The individual instances of this behavior may seem trivial, but in aggregate, I'll bet they add up to a pretty significant amount of waste.

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