Greenpeace: Apple’s clean energy plans still cloudy despite coal-free pledge

“Apple’s clean energy policies have significantly improved, but the company still gets low scores for its energy choices when compared with sector leaders, according to a new Greenpeace International analysis released today,” David Pomerantz blogs for Greenpeace.

MacDailyNews Take: Shocking.

“Despite a welcome commitment by Apple in May that its data centres will be coal-free and powered by 100% renewable energy, the analysis reveals that Apple still lacks a plan that outlines a realistic path to eliminate its reliance on coal to power its iCloud,” Pomerantz writes. “The latest analysis updates the scores to account for Apple’s new announcements and found that Apple’s plans to make its three existing data centres “coal-free” are still far from complete.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple’s iTime Machine’s “Instantaneous” button must be on the fritz.

Pomerantz writes, “Since Apple will have to buy much of its electricity in North Carolina from Duke Energy, the only electric utility in the area – and one which also relies heavily on coal – Apple cannot be coal-free without pushing Duke toward that goal as well. Apple should use its buying power as one of Duke Energy’s anticipated top 10 customers to demand that Duke provide it with clean energy, not mountaintop removal coal.”

MacDailyNews Take: Greenpeace just loves demands, no matter how pie-in-the-sky and full-of-shit they may be.

Full article – Think Before You Click™ – here.

MacDailyNews Note: By the end of 2012, Apple will meet the energy needs of their Maiden, North Carolina, data center using entirely renewable sources. To achieve this, Apple is building their own facilities that will provide over 60 percent of the clean power they need. It’s another example of Apple’s commitment to designing for energy efficiency — from the ground up.

Appel will meet the remaining 40 percent of their energy needs by directly purchasing clean, renewable energy generated by local and regional sources. Directly purchasing clean local energy gives Apple the flexibility to meet their needs over time, helps them to ensure that their sources are reputable and responsible, and encourages local investment in renewable projects such as wind, solar, and bio-gas power in locations best suited for these resources. Adding renewable energy sources like these displaces dirtier energy sources from the grid. Apple is also partnering with NC GreenPower — an independent, nonprofit organization created by the North Carolina Utilities Commission — to increase local renewable energy production throughout North Carolina. Today Apple’s largest project with NC GreenPower is helping the local landfill in Catawba County (located just three miles from the Maiden data center) to generate electricity using their waste methane gas.

Learn more about Apple’s data centers and renewable energy here.

Related articles:
North Carolina regulators approve Apple’s 4.8-megawatt fuel cell facility at Maiden data center – May 23, 2012
Apple’s NC and Oregon data centers to use 100 percent renewable energy – May 17, 2012
Bloom Energy confirms they will supply fuel cells for Apple’s North Carolina data center – April 30, 2012
New aerial images of Apple’s planned NC fuel cell, solar farms published – April 7, 2012
Apple’s massive fuel cell energy project to be largest in the U.S. – April 4, 2012
Apple plans USA’s largest private fuel cell energy project in North Carolina – April 1, 2012
How Apple took the lead on the environment – February 22, 2012
Apple patent application reveals next-gen fuel cell powered Macs and iOS devices – December 22, 2011
Apple’s Mothership campus solar roof will be among biggest in U.S. – December 7, 2011
Apple working with US company, Leaf Solar Power, on North Carolina solar farm – November 8, 2011
Apple patent app details highly-advanced hydrogen fuel cells to power portable devices – October 20, 2011
Apple building huge solar farm around its billion-dollar North Carolina data center – October 26, 2011

25 Comments

    1. The worst thing is that Greenpeace manipulates public opinion for years, taking into consideration false promises of “leaders”, giving them high scores for that, and never punishing them for their lies.

      This means that all that Greenpeace actually cares of with those lists are empty PR.

  1. Google has a data center nearby. Why aren’t the green mutts after them?

    Apple is moving ahead with renewable energy, they don’t need a detailed, time specific plan to do so. There is no mandate or reasonable reason why they would need one. Coal is a huge source of energy and is the most reliable. Apple can always tap coal power when needed.

  2. Seems Greenpeace have given up on risky targets like Japanese and Norwegian whalers, and illegal loggers; perhaps their Health & Safety risk assessment has determined that it’ll push the insurance premiums up so they’re going after targets that don’t involve being shot at or harpooned.
    Seems Sea Shepherd are the only ones prepared to put their money where their mouths are now. Greenpeace should be ashamed of themselves.

    1. Greenpeace: through inaction, via proxy, and substituting expedience for ethics while pointing the finger in a mirror-free room, arrives at a point of triage where the environmental advocates themselves are clubbing baby seals to death. The end justifies the means.

  3. I won’t buy any more Apple products till they come out with an algae powered iPad, iPhone and Mac. Shame on Apple, making products that run on coal. Shame, shame, shame!

  4. Greenpeace are a group of left wing nuts who do not in any way, shape or form understand technology, either in the field of power generation or computing. Which is why they’re always railing against coal fired power plants and Apple, which in my opinion form the pinnacle of each respective field.

    Coal creates employment in the mines and in the rail yards in the course of extracting it from the ground to transporting it to the holding yards at the power plant. There is no way in 50 years for alternative power to supplant coal. Wind power and other alternative forms of energy will decline in the coming years as tax credits are withdrawn from 2013 onwards. Without government assistance, green power is uneconomic in and of itself. So your tax dollars are contributing to green power whereas coal power stands on its own.

    In today’s coal fired power plants, the extraction of carbon monoxide, soot particles, sulphur dioxide and other noxious particles is handled cleanly by various means, chief among them chimney scrubbers. The amount of pollution emitted is no more than let’s say a natural gas fired power plant (as a comparative to fossil fuel plants).

    One of North Carolina’s selling points is that Duke Energy was the main proponent in attracting Apple to site its data center in Maiden by promising delivery of clean, reliable, coal generated electricity. There is nothing wrong with this, apart from Greenpeace frothing at the mouth for all the wrong reasons.

    1. Just to be perfectly clear, strip mining (mountain top removal for coal) is an extremely damaging method for coal extraction. Thanks to the Bush administration, the scraped material can be pushed off into the valleys, which pollutes streams with sulphur and other nasty substances.

      Before you scoff and call me names, consider that I have actually been to “Wild, Wonderful West Virginia. I have visited the coal country for extended periods and been into a couple of mines. My mother used to helf my grNdfather set dynamite in the family coal mine near the house to produce coal for the stove. My family on my mother’s side have been coal miners for generations. Coal mining took a dreadful toll on the miners over the years. Their families are experiencing this ecological disaster first-hand. They live in the middle of it. Their wells are polluted and their land is collapsing beneath then from long wall mining. The companies can mine beneath their land because the county building holding the deeds showing mineral rights ownership mysteriously burned down decades ago.

      That is on top of the pollution that results from burning coal. I fully understand that the U.S. cannot wean itself from coal overnight. In the long term, however, we can greatly increase the percentage of renewables in our power supply. You can buy a lot of solar arrays, wind turbines, and such for the hundreds of billions that have been spent in Iraq, alone, over the past decade. This country needs vision, this country needs to develop a renewed respect for science. This country needs to develop a renewed respect for educators. This country needs to develop a batter understanding of reality.

    2. BLN, there are many old coal-fired plants that have not installed modern scrubbers. The power companies have delayed pollution legislation time and time again, for decades, through the application of money to the political process. Modern coal-fired plants are much cleaner than the older ones. But there are many older ones still in operation. Besides, you have to consider the impact of coal from cradle to grave, mining to transportation to combustion to byproducts.

      Sure, coal mining creates jobs, BLN. So does manufacturing chemical weapons or mining asbestos. That doesn’t mean that we should do it. This country should continue to focus on expanding renewable energy. While the loans to the various solar cell companies may not have been that successful, the intention is good. If some other Presidents had been smart enough to promote the renewable energy agenda, this country would be importing a lot less oil right now and be less in bondage to the Middle East, West Africa, and Central and South America.

  5. Here is where the great reality come in, the ecofreaks don’t really want you to produce your own power, nor lesson your footprint.

    They want to to buy “green energy credits” and carbon credits and continue on in your normal consumptive manor. (like al gore their model environmentalist does)
    Apple is buying some “green energy” but they are doing something far more they are reducing consumption (via efficiency) AND are using cogeneration. Neither of those puts money in the ecofreaks pockets nor contributes to their ability to wield power over energy. And that is bad regardless of how green you really are.

    Kind of reminds me of obama motors new coal powered car (the volt), do we really need this kind of “innovation”? And, more importantly is it really beneficial to humanity in the long run?

    1. Combatting ignorance with your own version is really counter productive. First, the Volt was developed by GM in 2006 – 2007. President Bush even set up the tax credits that most Volt owners now enjoy. Second, it was reported on a Volt forum that for the first time in recent recorded history, the US has used more natural gas in electricity generation than coal. Third, a Volt traveling on electricity generated by coal is equivalent to the tail pipe emissions of a standard car powered by an ICE getting about 30 to 40 mpg. We’re not even talking about emissions generated in the exploration, extraction, and transport of oil, nor the emissions generated in the refining of oil and the transport of fuel to your local filling station.

      As for your questions regarding do we really need this kind of innovation and is is really beneficial to humanity going forward? A lot of Volt owners have joined this web site called Voltstats.net , this site pulls the OnStar data from each Volt that is signed up 3or 4 times per day. Current data says that Volt owners has avoided buying over 8 million gallons of gasoline. Typically the average Volt owner drive over 70% of their miles on electricity. The Volt electrical range (40-45) miles suits over 80% of the driving patterns of typical commuters. I can answer specifically that the Volt will benefit humanity in the futurebu it will certainly benefit the US going forward. No more millitary intervention for oil under the thinly veiled guise of searching for WMD’s. No more sending our weapons technology to protect despots whose populous decry us for for supporting their leaders that prey on their own people and when they’re overthrown we suffer worse consequences ( Iran, Egypt, Lybia, Iraq). The environment will be better off. We can focus of combating the export of nuclear weapons to terror nation. So you tell me will this be better for Humanity going forward?

      1. I think you need to bone up on US power generation stats. Additionally you also need to bone up on parasitic losses in generation, distribution and conversion. (specifically WRT electric cars)
        Here is one quick stat for you for you: Natural Gas accounts for about 23% of us power generation, coal about 45%. (nukes account for another 20%)

        1. Your quick stats are at least a decade old. I was referring to as recently as last month, due the the heavy use of fracking to produce natural gas prices have collapsed due to over supply and well are being capped. A lot of generating facilities have dual fuel capability just like boilers producing heat in the home. Also most electric cars are charged at night, off peak and their owners in many locations can apply for off peak ratesat around 4.5 cents per kwh. You want to talk about efficiency. Your typical ICE is thermodynamic limited to 35% efficiency and that before we add in drive line losses and idling losses in traffic. The side benefit of Volt owners charging at off peak hours is generating facilities have to maintain a baseline load, so that is power being generated that if not used is wasted ( like the idling of an ICE). Another side benefit, I lease a Volt for 3 years at $358 per month, I traded in Saturn out look that got 18 mpg. I used the spend $190 per month in gas. In 1.5 months of Volt ownership I’ve spent exactly $23 on gasoline. That’s $167 per month I can use to enhance my retirement, pay down my debt or put back into other areas of the economy. Think about it.

          1. I’m thinking about it. I’m thinking it’s a huge scam.
            You’ve just gone from one poor car buying decision to another.
            Leasing never, ever, ever benefits the sucker who signs on the dotted line, only the car co.
            That car you just got rid of, what was it’s residual value? Let’s make up a number and say $10k. Ok, now how much will you get back from the Volt lease??
            Nothing whatever.
            Why didn’t you buy the car? Because it’s $45k that’s why.
            And what the blankety-black were you doing driving an SUV around in the first place????
            Americans; lovable but gullible.

            1. Depends on your circumstances. I leased my outlook for 39 months and bought out the lease for $16,700 at the end. I then traded in the Outlook getting $17,800 which paid off the loan and gave me $2000 of cap cost reduction to apply to the lease of the Volt. My monthly lease payments on the Outlook was $459/ month, once I bought out the lease with a 7 year loan at $250 /month I had instant positive equity in the car. In the 9 months between buying out the lease on the Outlook and leasing the Volt then Outlook depreciated about $1500. Leasing the Volt was a no brainier . The banks that handle the Volt leases use the $7500 tax credit to lower your monthly payment. I did not want to get locked in too early on the technology curve on this drive train. The 3rd model year has already seen improvements. Lower cost per mile of operation put my monthly lease payment closer to $168 per month when you really think about it. Lower maintenance costs can knock another $30 per month, brake pads can last the life of the car, oil changes every 2 years, I’ll be spending more on car washes and windshield wipers. If I had bought a partial lemon I would own an even more rapidly depreciating asset. Leasing allows me to determine rliability, it gives me options that buying doesn’t. I had an SUV because I had a small business as a General Contractor and the smaller SUV I had before that proven insufficient for my uses then. I closed the business last year so it would seem your comments spurt forth from ignorance. Hope I helped to clear some things up for you.

          2. No actually those are from 18 months ago, I looked at 2012 projected stats. and coal though down a couple points (nuke is up 2% and gas is also up a few %) however coal is still (by almost 2X) the primary form of power generation in the US.

            And BTW burning natural gas also releases CO2 (virtually the same amount /joule of energy that coal does BTW)

            And yes overnight charging lessons the strain on the power utilities infrastructure, but it doesn’t change the amount of coal (and natural gas) burned to generate that power (nor the inefficiency.)

            There are large losses encountered at each conversion (coal/ gas chemical energy->heat->mechanical energy->electrical energy->distribution loss->chemical (battery)->electrical->mechanical (to turn your wheels)
            While I am glad you like what you bought, don’t kid yourself it is not an efficient means of transport (either in $$/transport nor in Kg of CO2 produced/transport).
            In addition, I did a bit of research and the the (recent) shift to more nuclear and natural gas is not a result of “fracking” (though tracking is a promising new technology it has not (yet) had a significant impact on total NG production) The shift (away from coal) is a result of power companies currently being penalized for using coal, they then shift production to gas and (ramping existing) nuke because coal is being made artificially expensive (raising power cost for everyone)

  6. GP should note what dirty power source used to make and distribute their junk message(s). What dirty fuel they use to get from one point to the next and work to become 100 percent fossil fuel free. Just may, they can power their lives and computers with solar, wind, and human power generation instead of calling other out first.

    Green peace, lead by example….. Go totally fossil fuel free! So how that works for ya.

    1. The Greenpeace spokesperson left Vancouver for New York to give reporters the lowdown on Greenpeace’s carbon free transportation policy.

      He left last Tuesday. He will arrive in New York next Friday. He’s riding a mountain bike.

      Durring a brief stop in Minneapolis this morning he said, “My carbon dioxide and methane output is bordering on criminal. So much for carbon free transportation. Can I sell the bike and buy a plane ticket home now?”

  7. GP needs to show how it is done by going off the grid now.
    They need carbon neutral power for their boats. Solar Cells and Biomass would be great for the North Atlantic winter!

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