Apple hits 100% renewables goal

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Apple’s new headquarters in Cupertino is powered by 100 percent renewable energy, in part from a 17-megawatt onsite rooftop solar installation. Credit: Apple

Just a few days after Google announced that it had officially hit its 100% renewable energy goal, rival tech giant Apple has now made the same claim.

Apple’s global facilities, including retail stores, offices, data centres and co-located facilities in 43 countries. are now powered with completely with clean energy.

The company has also announced that nine more of its manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100% clean energy, bringing the total number of supplier commitments to 23. The new supplier commitments come from:

  • Arkema
  • DSM Engineering Plastics
  • ECCO Leather
  • Finisar
  • Luxshare-ICT
  • Pegatron
  • Quadrant
  • Quanta Computer
  • Taiyo Ink Mfg. Co

Tim Cook, Apple's CEO, said: “We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it.”

Apple’s renewable energy projects include solar and wind as well as emerging technologies like biogas fuel cells, micro-hydro generation systems and energy storage technologies.

Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totalling 626MW megawatts of generation capacity, with 286MW of solar PV generation coming online just in 2017. It also has 15 more projects in construction. Once built, it will have over 1.4GW of renewable energy generation across 11 countries. Since 2014, all of Apple’s data centres have also been powered by renewable energy.

Among its major projects, Apple’s enormous new headquarters in Cupertino, named Apple Park, will be powered by a 17MW onsite rooftop solar installation and 4MW of biogas fuel cells, all controlled by a microgrid with battery storage. The firm has also developed 485MW of wind and solar projects across six provinces of China to address upstream manufacturing emissions.

Google’s milestone

Credit: Google

Last week, Google said it currently holds contracts to purchase 3GW of output from renewable energy projects, allowing it to reach its 100% clean energy target.

“Over the course of 2017, across the globe, for every kilowatt-hour of electricity we consumed, we purchased a kilowatt-hour of renewable energy from a wind or solar farm that was built specifically for Google,” said Urs Hölzle, Google senior vice president of technical infrastructure. “This makes us the first public Cloud, and company of our size, to have achieved this feat.”

Google currently has 26 renewable energy projects around the world, and more in the pipeline. 

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