Apple Energy: The implications are mind-boggling

“Last week, Apple quietly dropped a bombshell in the energy industry, launching an entirely new subsidiary called Apple Energy that will manage the complexities of its renewable energy efforts,” Tim Healy writes for Forbes.

“The only information available on Apple Energy is in the company’s filings with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, but what can be gleaned from that illustrates a foundational shift underway in the energy world,” Healy writes. “Essentially, Apple is seeking the ability to sell the renewable energy it generates to other businesses and consumers at retail prices. Without FERC’s approval, Apple will only be able to sell its energy to energy providers and utilities at wholesale prices. Apple Energy would more or less act as an energy provider itself, enabling the company to leverage its investments in renewable energy like wind and solar to generate new revenue from an entirely new market.”

“Apple’s decision to go this route might be unique, but a close look at the path it took to get here reveals a broader shift in the way businesses think about energy,” Healy writes. “And whether you’re a bleeding-edge company with substantial financial resources like Apple, or a smaller-scale enterprise that’s just starting to dip your toes in the water, there are a few lessons to learn from Apple’s energy evolution.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The implications of Apple’s move into energy are indeed mind-boggling.

Apple Energy: Is this Apple running its own microgrids or more? – June 10, 2016
Apple Inc. forms Apple Energy company; looks to sell electricity into grid and perhaps directly to consumers – June 9, 2016


  1. So now Apple’s stock price will fluctuate with the weather forecasts?

    Weather forecasters will be charged with stock manipulation if their forecasts are inaccurate, while WALLnut Street ANALysts get a stock manipulation pass as they always have?

    1. Wall Street is clearly not impressed with Apple’s foray into energy. There won’t be enough revenue generated to make any difference whatsoever. It will be considered just another Tim Cook failure. Apple’s iPhone business is ruined and there’s nothing Apple can do to replace it. A few rooftop solar cells isn’t going to cut it. No one is going to value Apple as an energy company. That’s the same as me putting solar cells on my roof and returning some energy that I don’t use to my local power grid. It’s laughable.

      If Apple wants to get into the energy business, why not just buy some alternative energy company that’s already established?

      1. If Apple’s goal is to make a profit in Solar, I am sure they can. If their goal is to power the world with Solar, they will soon find out this project is going nowhere. We need too much energy and there are no energy projects by anyone, not even within the Solar industry who say it can be done.

        The dream that we can power the world with Solar is one that we collectively make up in our own minds because that is what we want to believe. With massive growth in the Solar industry it will still take 10 years before the growth in fossil fuels is equal to solar.

        That may sound like good news but it is not. It means that we will continue to burn fossil fuel at the same rate and that current rate will continue to expand for the next 10 years and beyond. If all goes best after 10 years of fossil fuel growth we will be adding as much Solar as we are adding fossil fuel. Which means for the foreseeable future, we will keep increasing the amount of Carbon just at a slower and slower rate over the next 40 years or so. There are no projections that show us actually reducing carbon that don’t include nuclear.

        You can blame the messenger, but with todays technology, the only way we can get carbon to zero (which is what we need) is with Nuclear Power. Nothing else will work, and nobody in any industry says it will work.

        Of course I will probably be flamed for telling the truth, and popping our collective bubble. All of us non energy people who know nothing about it don’t want to believe that and we are absolutely sure Solar can do it.

        Full Disclosure: I worked at the Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant from 1986-1989. I am pro-nuke because I know all the lies we are being told about the dangers of radiation and there are much better and safer Nuclear plans available today that “we” won’t allow because we think we know better than the scientists.

        So lets all fight for Solar because that is what we want to believe and in 20 years when the world heats up and we all go extinct, we can look with pride at all the solar panels we erected that will last longer than we will.

        Sorry to be bearer of bad news. Don’t forget to flame me.

        Click 0 stars down below if you feel it changes anything.

          1. I’m sorry, but this isn’t interesting or unique. I had a home generator at my house in California and I was able to release extra energy back into the grid, which would be measured and credited back to my account. Apple just wants to do the same thing at a large scale. I’m surprised they even need permission but presumably it’s required over some threshold.

            It’s still not interesting. It certainly doesn’t imply that they want to get into the energy business. They just want to optimize operational efficiency by capitalizing on excess captured power, thereby maximizing shareholder returns. For this some journalist gets paid by Forbes to state that it’s some earth-shaking new foray into a new market. Color me skeptical.

            Oh sorry, forgot to rant about Trump and Hillary. Carry on, MDN people.

      2. I hope that this works for Apple as an investment, and I hope that at works to accelerate renewable energy, but my objective opinion is 1) that this in not revolutionary, 2) that it will not have a measurable impact on Apple’s profitability (except that it will help to attract employees and customer) and 3) it is certainly not “mind-boggling” — unless perhaps the reporter’s mind is easily boggled.

        1. …and 4) it will not make an impact on our environment at all.

          Next year we will set a new record in fossil fuel burned as the rest of the world continues to industrialize, and this will be true for the foreseeable future.

          For those who down vote me, do you have a better plan? Add more solar panels, stay the course and keep dumping more carbon into the air? I’d like to see your plan other than “wish” it were different.

          Do you believe with all the Solar City panels going up and Apple adding some of their own that all of a sudden our Carbon emission will go down next year? Not a chance. Not even Apple is saying that and neither is Solar City. Only “we” say that because that’s what we want to believe.

          I’d really love to know what most people think. What goes through your heads. Most seem intelligent here. Do you have any special knowledge or just want to believe in solar and wind because that is what you want to believe?

          We will still be here next year, and we will talk about the rise in Fossil fuel that occurred in 2016 and 2017 and so on because it is all projected that way including projected solar and wind.

          There are no surprises coming. We know our fossil fuel use will continue to rise even with all this new Solar. What is even sicker is that we all know this to be true. I guess we just like watching Solar panels going up on roof tops, and we don’t want nuclear because we know it’s bad even though we have 450 Nuclear Reactors around the world and none of my friends have ever been hurt by this “invisible” danger.

          I guess the BP Oil spill and all this pipeline leaks must be way better than Chernobyl (Oh wait, people are moving back to Chernobyl, and the high numbers of Leukemia cases never materialized).

          Well, at least the BP Oil spill is way better than the damage those 8 underwater atomic bomb tests were to the ocean (Oh, wait, you haven’t been impacted by that at all!). Ok, it was those more than 550 open air atomic bomb tests that really convinces you that radiation is bad. (What, you weren’t affected by that either?)

          Think for yourself. It’s oil industry propaganda and fear mongering that keeps us away from Nukes. Every wonder why the BP Oil always seems to promotes Solar Power even though their Solar advertising budget is bigger than their research?

          …because they know it won’t do shit. Wake up!

          I’m not saying radiation isn’t dangerous. I wouldn’t want to take a walk inside a nuclear reactor, but I also don’t want to sit down inside a blast furnace either.

          For our environment, I’ll take the Nukes. These Oil and Coal ash spills are way too dangerous and they are killing wildlife.

          Meanwhile all life on earth has evolved to handle low levels of radiation which is exactly what it becomes once it gets diluted back into the environment unlike the Oil and chemicals poured into the Gulf. Nature doesn’t know what to do with that stuff!

          Please down vote me again, and then show me a really good Solar projection that shows our Carbon usage going down with all these Solar Panels.

          Try again.

  2. While I don’t know if I would describe this as mind boggling, it is an interesting, and possibly important move. I say possibly, because we don’t yet know how far Apple is going to take this. If all they’re going to do is to sell off excess capacity, then it means little, as Apple sizes its power plants to closely match their needs at each location.

    But if Apple, along with Solar City, which has been building the solar plants Apple is using, including the ones in China they been planning, and working on, deliberately builds significant overcapacity in each of its newer plants, with the specific intention to sell that capacity, then something different can be expected, and then, Apple would be entering the utility market. That would be interesting. But at the same time we need to remember that the amount of power currently being generated here, in the USA, and around the world is vast, and what Apple could be doing will be a tiny fraction of 1% of that. We need to see where they are going with this.

    1. Entering the utility market will initially only be to sell excess capacity. The important point, however, is that, once they enter the market, they can explore it and compete in it, if it is worth them a while. If Apple figures out how to manufacture energy in the similarly efficient way as they did for iPhones, they may well become a major player in the utility market, some years / decades down the road.

      Successful companies know how (and when) to pivot. Apple showed its ability several times. They well may do this again, with something like cars or power.

      1. Apple was one of the first to do away with the floppy, to adopt the USB, to make the touch screen successful on the phone. No big deal – except how other companies followed them.

        IF we need more energy in the future and this works with Apple, will Google, MS, Cisco, IBM, Walmart and others follow. What happens when enough Fortune 500 companies are selling their excess energy and competing with utility companies at a fair price.

        The Utility companies will compete at their own price if the energy is sold to them and they will be like the record labels – vultures. But if Fortune 500 including Apple begin to produce enough energy together to sell to the town where they are located . . . BRILLIANT! Apple leading the way!

  3. NOT revolutionary. MANY manufacturing companies build their own power generation facilities either to ensure reliable power in event of public grid failures or as is lately more often the case to switch to their own generation facilities when the Power Companies up commercial rates – like the summer. The difference is Apple wants to be able to SELL its power which most companies don’t do. This is just Manufacturing in the 21st century. One of many companies that sell energy solutions to manufacturing.

        1. Yeh, hey. I’d like to add my voice to Sean’s. Thanks. That REALLY added to my understanding of the topic. You’re one smart cookie. I bet you’re doing really well in school… Junior High, I imagine.

    1. Except in Florida, the sunshine state. Solar power is practically illegal. Have solar on rental property; can’t let your tenants get it. Put solar panels one someone’s house and lease back to them: hell no. Live off the grid; not any more. They same people who said the government can’t make us buy health insurance from a private company turned around and said we have to buy power or water from a private company. Oh yeah our governor is from Texas. A little off the rails, however as a Floridian I get jealous of other places that can produce their own energy.

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