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Apple commits to run off 100 percent renewable energy

Lucas Mearian | Sept. 22, 2016
Many of Apple's Chinese parts suppliers have also committed to use 100% renewable energy in the production of Apple products

Apple announced that it has committed to running all of its data centers and corporate offices on renewable energy, joining a group of other corporations committed to the same clean energy goal.

Apple said it has joined RE100, a global initiative by influential businesses committed to using 100% renewable electricity. To date, RE100 has amassed membership from 77 corporations.

Other RE100 members include Hewlett Packard Enterprise, VMware, Rackspace and Wells Fargo.

Apple's announcement is mostly symbolic at this point. The company is already powering its operations in the U.S., China and 21 other countries with 100% renewable energy, and, in 2015, powered 93% of its operations around the world with renewable energy.

Apple has invested in renewable energy for several years. Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives, said Monday that the company completed construction on its latest renewable energy project — a 50-megawatt (MW) solar farm in Arizona, Apple worked with local utility Salt River Project on the solar array, which will provide renewable power to Apple's global command data center in Mesa, Arizona. The solar farm provides power equal to the energy use of more than 12,000 Arizona homes.

apple solar renewable 
The Singapore solar project is the first distributed utility-scale installation in the country.

Solar energy developer Sunseap Group will provide Apple with 100% renewable electricity from solar energy systems built atop more than 800 buildings in Singapore.

Last year, Apple announced it would invest $850 million in a solar power plant through a partnership with First Solar, one of the nation's largest photovoltaic (PV) manufacturers and a provider of utility-scale PV plants. Through a 25-year purchasing agreement, Apple will get 130MW (megawatts, or million watts) from the new California Flats Solar Project.

The First Solar deal rocketed Apple past Walmart as the largest corporate user of solar power.

On the same day Apple joined RE100, Bank of America also announced it was committing to RE100.

America's top tech companies have been going green in a big way, so much so that the availability of clean energy resources is a key consideration in where they locate corporate offices and data centers. The move is designed to save them millions of dollars in long-term energy costs.

"We believe energy is the future of our business," Josh Henretig, director of environmental sustainability at Microsoft, said in an earlier interview with Computerworld.

Last year, Google announced it would purchase 842 megawatts (MW) of clean energy, nearly double the clean energy it had already purchased -- taking the company to 2 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy.

 

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