German coal miners use 1,000 Apple iPads to help weather a rout

“German coal and power producer RWE AG, weathering the worst rout for the country’s electricity market in over a decade, is turning to Apple Inc. and International Business Machines Corp. to help shave costs,” Naureen Malik reports for Bloomberg. “[RWE] produces as much as 100 million tons of coal a year.”

“Field workers at RWE’s Hambach coal mine started using software on Apple iPad mini devices in December,” Malik reports. “They’re already saving 30 minutes a day by cutting down on paperwork, said Andreas Lamken, chief information officer of RWE’s generation unit. The company has deployed a ‘couple hundred’ of the handheld tablets and plans to distribute more at its two other mines and then to utility workers in the coming months, with a goal of reaching as many as a thousand, he said.”

“RWE is contracting the services of a partnership between IBM and Apple as utilities in Europe’s biggest power market suffer from the lowest power prices since 2002. An unprecedented shift to renewable energy, fed into the grid preferably, is squeezing the margins at traditional plants burning coal, gas and nuclear. It presents a business opportunity for the two tech giants whose partnership had never had an energy and utility customer before RWE,” Malik reports. “[RWE’s] Hambach mine has a surface area of 30 square kilometers.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Smart companies use Apple products.

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8 Comments

    1. Actually its fracking and Nat Gas that drive the prices down (that’s where the power comes from when it gets dark out). Even environmental advocates like me must acknowledge that the availability of cheap nat gas — to make power when the sun is unavailable — is what makes solar power possible. I realize that this inconvenient truth will bring on a lot of flame from people who don’t want to believe it. So go ahead, bring it on. But if you choose to flame me for stating a fact, at least tell me where you think electric power comes from when it gets dark and the wind is not blowing. BTW I am an advocate for all green technologies. I am just not a hater of nat gas and not a hater of energy that is affordable for everyone.

      1. Just taking a cue from the actual article i.e. “squeezing the margins at traditional plants burning coal, gas and nuclear”. I’m thinking Germany isn’t so much into fracking as the US. They’re a pretty small country, so they just can’t screw part of it up and move somewhere else.

        Also, read up on Teslas PowerWall. (hint: Charge it up when the Sun is out, use the stored energy when it’s dark out. Pretty slick solution to the Earths rotation, don’t you think?) The end of fossil fuels is near. Actually, not the end, just a much more judicious use for situations where there aren’t other good options.

        1. Sorry the energy market is a global one. When the US is fracking and using natural gas, our demand for oil lowers, and so do prices all over the world. I’m all for green energy, but like “Jus Sayin”, I am pragmatic also. It will be quite a while before we are completely weaned off fossil fuels. You must realize that as demand for fossil fuels goes down, price goes down, which in turn make using fossil fuels more and more attractive. Thus, they will be with us for quite a while longer. We just need to stay the course and increase green energy use and decrease green energy cost. Eventually this will win out.

  1. If they can save money in Germany’s Coal Mines using Apple’s iPad, then more power to them. And I for one am a Coal supporter plus other Renewable energy sources. We need to use whatever is available. Just my opinion!

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