Apple to invest in the construction of two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines

Today Apple announced it will invest in the construction of two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines, a source of clean, renewable energy that will bring its supply chain and products one step closer to carbon neutrality. Located near the Danish town of Esbjerg, the 200-meter-tall turbines are expected to produce 62 gigawatt hours each year — enough to power almost 20,000 homes — and will act as a test site for powerful offshore wind turbines. The power produced at Esbjerg will support Apple’s data center in Viborg, with all surplus energy going into the Danish grid.

Apple is investing in the construction of two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines near the Danish town of Esbjerg.
Apple is investing in the construction of two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines near the Danish town of Esbjerg.

Last month, Apple announced its plans to become carbon neutral across its entire business, manufacturing supply chain, and product life cycle by 2030. While Apple’s operations are already powered by 100 percent renewable energy and carbon neutral, this new commitment will mean that by 2030, every Apple device sold will have net zero climate impact. This includes transitioning all of its European-based suppliers to renewable power.

One of Scandinavia’s largest solar arrays was completed earlier this summer to power Apple’s Viborg data center, and is the first Danish solar project built without the use of public subsidies.
One of Scandinavia’s largest solar arrays was completed earlier this summer to power Apple’s Viborg data center, and is the first Danish solar project built without the use of public subsidies.

Supplier Clean Energy Progress

Germany-based supplier Varta committed this week to running its Apple production with 100 percent renewable power. Across Europe, Apple’s suppliers are working toward clean energy solutions for their Apple productions — including Henkel and tesa SE, also based in Germany, DSM Engineering Materials based in the Netherlands, STMicroelectronics based in Switzerland, and Solvay based in Belgium. These solutions include DSM’s wind power purchase agreement in the Netherlands and STMicroelectronics’s solar carport in Morocco. Companies like Solvay are now expanding their use of renewable energy to their broader operations after joining Apple’s Supplier Clean Energy Program five years ago.

Apple launched the program in October 2015 to help suppliers reduce their energy use and transition to 100 percent renewable electricity. Since its launch, 72 manufacturing partners in 17 different countries have committed to 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production. Once all of Apple’s supplier projects are completed, these commitments will avoid over 14.3 million metric tons of CO2e annually — the equivalent of taking more than 3 million cars off the road each year.

Viborg Data Center

Apple’s data center in Viborg, a 45,000-square-meter facility offering network support and data storage to its users across the region, is now operational. The data center helps power Apple’s App Store, Apple Music, iMessage, Siri, and other services in Europe that are run entirely on renewable energy from local projects.

Like all of Apple’s data centers, the company’s Viborg data center is running on 100 percent renewable energy.
Like all of Apple’s data centers, the company’s Viborg data center is running on 100 percent renewable energy.

The Esbjerg wind project follows the recent completion of one of Scandinavia’s largest solar arrays, located in Thisted, Northern Jutland, the first Danish solar project built without the use of public subsidies. The wind and solar projects both support Apple’s newly completed data center in Viborg, which is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Apple is developing both projects in partnership with European Energy.

The Viborg data center had over 600 specialist workers on site each day during construction and included many Danish businesses supporting its development. It is now run by a team of data specialists, technicians, maintenance, and security staff, many of whom were recruited from the local area.

Source: Apple Inc.

31 Comments

    1. In that location, they move almost all of the time. In 2019, Denmark generated over half its power from renewable sources, and they have a goal of 100% net renewable energy by 2050.

        1. Clean until the waste spills. Not if, when. France may be more advanced than most but every continent has nuclear waste leaking somewhere. Hanford, 3 Mile Island, Chernoble, Fukushima.
          Let’s not pretend the fuel is local or cheap either.

          Nuclear is and always has been a security and economic disaster.

    1. Recycling is good for everyone.

      The rest of the story is that those 20+ year old blades are being replaced with new, bigger, more efficient blades and the wind farm keeps producing. All part of the plan.

      Same thing with airplanes, cars, and any other large scale machine.

      What was your point again ?

  1. From my intuition: I think that we are still in early “datacenterification.” I don’t trust the environmental suitability of having centers of highly concentrated electronic and electrical neurons, their effect on living things also made of delicate neurons, as well as society’s high, nearly total, dependence on them even though the network’s data flow is redundant. So this is not only about Apple’s technological needs and services.
    The basic and unstated assumption in public discussions is that there is no limit to their environmental costs and impacts. But society has learned that there are limits to the amount soil, water, and air pollution that society can produce. The key principle is that the amount of pollution must not exceed the amount that Mother Nature can absorb and transform into non-poisonous, even beneficial, matter; Any excesses that are produced poisons living things. Perhaps something similar is happening with the network of world-wide data centers and should be considered.

      1. Distributed data processing uses as much electricity as centralized data centers. Probably more. Large centers in cool climates are more efficient.

        To put this in context, the Danish energy agency estimates that data centers will drive 85% of the increased demand for electricity between now and 2030. It will be more than that in Iceland, which already relies almost exclusively on “green” electricity.

        https://www.technologyreview.com/2019/06/18/134902/icelands-data-centers-are-booming-heres-why-thats-a-problem/

  2. “Today Apple announced it will invest in the construction of two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines,”

    These things are nothing but bird killers built for the purpose of making pseudo-environmentalists feel self-righteous.

      1. “They also generate half of Denmark’s electricity.” BFD, Denmark has a tiny GDP, they don’t use much electricity. That doesn’t change the fact that wind turbines kill. With all of the habitat destruction we humans are causing on the surface of the earth, is really necessary to make the sky more deadly?

          1. Don’t confuse the issue with science. The people objecting to renewable energy are, by and large, the same ones who think that coronavirus testing makes the pandemic worse, rather than better, and that pregnancy tests increase the fertility rate.

            1. “Don’t confuse the issue with science.” What science are you talking about? Are you denying the science that wind turbines kill a lot of birds?

              Pregnancy tests, of birds? Birds lay eggs. They don’t get pregnant. What the hell are you talking about?

          2. Wind turbines are placed in flyways because that’s where the wind is. Huge numbers of birds (the ones that are still left) migrate at night due to favorable air currents. Under those circumstances, painting blades black probably makes the danger greater. Smithsonian magazine, your source, is a left-wing rag whose primary goal is to promote the left-wing agenda.

            And when are the powers-that-be going to start painting all those countless bird-killing blades black?

            You liberals are all the same. No matter what the ends are, justification of your cause is more important than anything else. To hell with the dead birds!

            Pickup trucks? What the hell are you talking about? (Pickup trucks, with their greater ground clearance, probably kill less wildlife.) Are you trying to deflect the argument? Are you admitting that you lost the argument?

            1. Oh puleeze…you’re just like my boss. Woefully myopic, partially educated with foolish notions of righteous indignation, spouting faux concerns to promote partisan dissembling.
              Let’s enter the real world.
              In 1995, I was employed by a Dutch company to conduct a two year Environmental Impact Study into wind turbine bird strikes for, (A) a planned hilltop windfarm of ten 42 metre turbines covering ~2 hectares, in a major bird migration corridor, east coast UK.
              Six months before construction, we surveyed the site (A) twice daily(early dawn and late pm), and the downwind area for a further kilometer.
              We also set up a comparative same size survey for, (B) non wind farm data and (C) also monitored a one mile stretch of nearby main road.
              We collected every dead bird carcass from the three areas. Six months before [i]: six months during [ii]: and one year following construction [iii]
              The results in short.
              A. [i] … [ii] +5% [iii] +7%
              B. ……..[ii] +2%…….,(probably seasonal)
              C. [i]…. [ii] +2% [iii] +4.5%

              Actual numbers. 2yr period totals.
              A. 117
              B. 54
              C. 9862

              Some round figure observations.
              For A. If you are a migratory, large and night-flying bird, you will suffer <2% higher mortality.
              If you hover, soar or swoop, you will suffer 1+% higher mortality.
              If you congregate, fly in large groups and migrate, you will suffer 3+% higher mortality.
              For B it’s mainly seasonal variation and hunting shooting effects.
              For C increased traffic flow.

              Very quickly after starting to monitor C, we realized that the true scale of road deaths was not just birds. We totaled many thousands of hedgehogs, rats, mice, voles, foxes, mink, frogs, toads, small deer, weasels, stoats…and one coypu.
              Not to mention the countless millions of insects that are scraped off windscreens.

              Oddities.
              A. Kestrels and larks were regularly seen hovering between the turbines.
              C. Cats deaths were a surprisingly large category.

              For perspective.
              It is estimated that >55 million garden birds are killed yearly in UK by domestic cats.
              It is estimated that road vehicles kill ~80 million animals yearly in UK.

              ‘Wind turbine bird strike death rate is insignificant if mitigation measures are followed.’ Royal Society for the Protection of Birds

              Also:

              Click to access ericksonetal2005comparisonofmortality.pdf

              Lastly
              “ Pickup trucks? What the hell are you talking about? (Pickup trucks, with their greater ground clearance, probably kill less wildlife.)”
              Are you for real?

            2. Hey Sancho,

              “Oh puleeze…you’re just like my boss. Woefully myopic, partially educated with foolish notions of righteous indignation, spouting faux concerns to promote partisan dissembling.
              Let’s enter the real world.
              In 1995, Bla bla bla…”

              Why do you liberals project so much?

              Your argument and data are both ignorant and obsolete. Back in 1995, wind turbines were much smaller and rare in this country. Now, there are tens of thousands of those bird killing turbines! And they are getting bigger with faster wing tip speeds. The wing tip speeds of larger turbines approach 200 mph.

              A bird doesn’t have to be struck by a blade to be killed. If they are just too close when the blade goes by, the rapid change in pressure can and does cause internal injuries that they die from well after they get far enough away that a carcass counter doesn’t find them.

              “Lastly
              ‘Pickup trucks? What the hell are you talking about? (Pickup trucks, with their greater ground clearance, probably kill less wildlife.)’
              Are you for real?”

              I was making fun of the stupid argument of the dolt who suggested:
              “Next please tell us all to stop buying pickup trucks because they cause significant deaths of wildlife. Save the roadkill!!!!!!”

              Are you for real?

          3. From your source:

            From the wind turbine’s point of view, whacking birds to death can also damage the blades, which can be time consuming and expensive to repair, reports Alexandru Micu for ZME Science.

            But the black-blade solution may only work in certain circumstances. “One cannot expect this solution to reduce fatalities of most other bird species because many causal factors contribute to avian collision mortality with wind turbines,” Shawn Smallwood, a California ecologist who has studied bird deaths caused by energy infrastructure, tells E&E News. “Many birds, for example, collide with wind turbines at night, when tower colors are irrelevant.”

            Do I need to say more?

            Disingenuous much?

            1. I live in an area of Texas that used to have a big hunting season for mourning doves. Nobody here has seen them in significant numbers in several years. As partial compensation, we now see whitewing doves, which used to have a range 100 miles south of here.

              The effects of climate change on birds is already grossly disrupting their populations and behavior. Wind turbines may cost some bird lives, but not as many as they can potentially save.

            2. “I live in an area of Texas that used to have a big hunting season for mourning doves. Nobody here has seen them in significant numbers in several years. As partial compensation, we now see whitewing doves, which used to have a range 100 miles south of here.”

              So one species is filling a void that the killed-off species left open. That happens all the time in nature.

              “The effects of climate change on birds is already grossly disrupting their populations and behavior.“

              Total BS! It’s HABITAT DESTRUCTION! Over my 65 years on this planet, the climate has been behaving in the same manner that it always has. It changes, that’s what the climate does. If the climate didn’t change, well that would be unusual. I did notice that the bird populations are a fraction of what they were back in the olden days.

              “Wind turbines may cost some bird lives, but not as many as they can potentially save.”

              Yeah, Let’s kill them so that we can save them! What a plan!

            3. Are you being deliberately dense, or was I not clear that the mourning doves weren’t “killed off?” Texas is very proactive about regulating the taking of game, so there are still plenty of them, just not this far south. The culprit isn’t habitat destruction because both species prefer the same habitats. If one sort of dove couldn’t find appropriate food, water, and shelter, neither could the other. The number of doves around here hasn’t gone down, just the split between the two varieties.

              The mourning doves and whitewings have both shifted their range a hundred miles poleward in the forty years I have lived here because the climate is warmer. Those particular species were lucky enough to have appropriate habitat in their new range, but not all species have been or will be so lucky. That may be why there are fewer birds where you live.

              Climate does naturally change, as does the range of species in the wild, but on the scale of centuries and millennia, not decades. In these forty years, I have seen enormous changes in our flora and fauna, and it is all in one direction because the trend is to earlier springs, later falls, shorter winters, and hotter summers. Our average annual rainfall hasn’t changed much, but dry spells are lasting longer, with floods between them.

              When Houston has two 500-year flood events in two years, that might be coincidence; three 500-year floods in three years looks like a trend—a trend that cannot be explained without recourse to climate change that, in turn, cannot be explained except by increased greenhouse gas levels.

            4. “Texas is very proactive about regulating the taking of game, so there are still plenty of them, just not this far south.”

              Doves are migratory birds and the taking of them is regulated by the United States, not Texas. I don’t think you know what you are talking about.

              “The culprit isn’t habitat destruction because both species prefer the same habitats.”

              You are contradicting yourself and you don’t even know it. And your anecdotal evidence is worthless. You don’t understand how climate and habitat interact. You must be a city slicker.

              “Climate does naturally change, as does the range of species in the wild, but on the scale of centuries and millennia, not decades.”

              Did you learn that from Al Gore’s movie or wikipedia? Wherever, it is totally false.

              “In these forty years, I have seen enormous changes in our flora and fauna,”

              You’re contradicting yourself again.

              “and it is all in one direction because the trend is to earlier springs, later falls, shorter winters, and hotter summers. Our average annual rainfall hasn’t changed much, but dry spells are lasting longer, with floods between them.”

              You haven’t been alive long enough to know the extent of a climate trend.

              “When Houston has two 500-year flood events in two years, that might be coincidence; three 500-year floods in three years looks like a trend—a trend that cannot be explained without recourse to climate change that, in turn, cannot be explained except by increased greenhouse gas levels.”

              More anecdotal evidence and utter nonsense. Houston floods more now than before as a result of subsidence and paving over everything. It’s as simple as that.

              Nature up close: The massive decline of bird populations

              https://www.cbsnews.com/news/nature-up-close-the-massive-decline-of-bird-populations/

              You diverted the argument away from bird killers. I have to stop arguing with fools.

            5. Perhaps you need to inform the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that they have been illegally setting dove seasons, shooting hours, and bag limits for many decades. Evidently all the cases filed by Texas Game Wardens that I prosecuted in a rural county for thirty years shouldn’t have happened.

              https://texasdovehunters.com/tpwd

              Given that piece of spectacular ignorance, why should anybody pay attention to anything else you claim? It’s not even worth pointing out the other errors.

            6. “Given that piece of spectacular ignorance, why should anybody pay attention to anything else you claim?’

              You’re projecting here.

              “It’s not even worth pointing out the other errors.”

              You don’t because you can’t.

              https://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/16/704

              (a) Subject to the provisions and in order to carry out the purposes of the conventions, referred to in section 703 of this title, the Secretary of the Interior is authorized and directed, from time to time, having due regard to the zones of temperature and to the distribution, abundance, economic value, breeding habits, and times and lines of migratory flight of such birds, to determine when, to what extent, if at all, and by what means, it is compatible with the terms of the conventions to allow hunting, taking, capture, killing, possession, sale, purchase, shipment, transportation, carriage, or export of any such bird, or any part, nest, or egg thereof, and to adopt suitable regulations permitting and governing the same, in accordance with such determinations, which regulations shall become effective when approved by the President.

              I REALLY have to stop arguing with idiots!

            7. “Perhaps you need to inform the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department that they have been illegally setting dove seasons, shooting hours, and bag limits for many decades. Evidently all the cases filed by Texas Game Wardens that I prosecuted in a rural county for thirty years shouldn’t have happened.”
              https://texasdovehunters.com/tpwd

              Texas is simply posting the regulations. THEY ARE NOT SETTING THEM!

              You are being less than truthful here. If you actually prosecuted anyone for migratory game violations, you would know who set the regulations. Once again, you are demonstrating that you are a big phony.

              (Insert lawyer joke here.)

            8. The regulations adopted by US Fish and Wildlife pursuant to the statute you cited “define the system and timeline that will be used to collect and analyze biological data each year and to draw up hunting frameworks. These frameworks must then be published, and the public must be allowed a comment period. Afterwards, frameworks are finalized by the U. S. Department of Interior and sent to the states, which then set individual seasons within the federal guidelines.

              https://www.ducks.org/conservation/national/setting-the-hunting-season

              As I used to tell people who complained about lawyers, “Doctors have fixed the system even worse. If you don’t hire a lawyer and screw up a lawsuit, you just lose money. If you don’t hire a doctor and get cancer, you can die.” Professionals beat amateurs almost every time.

            9. Are you aware that your “evidence” is an undated Ducks Unlimited PR piece explaining how important Ducks Unlimited is and is used to manipulate people into sending them money? Is that the kind of evidence you used to prosecute all of those cases filed by Texas Game Wardens in a rural county for thirty years?

              If I was being prosecuted in a rural county in Texas for some crime, I would pray to God that you would be the prosecutor.

              From your own source: “Afterwards, frameworks are finalized by the U. S. Department of Interior…”

              Don’t you understand what that means?!?!

              “…and sent to the states, which then set individual seasons within the federal guidelines.”

              This is where the states do things like restrict Sunday hunting, have special Veteran’s Day hunts, junior hunts, etc. In regards to the MBTA, states are not permitted to breach the “federal framework” in any way.

              Given Shakespeare’s most famous line, and the upcoming civil war, if you were smart, you would lay low. But you’re not smart, so good luck with all of that!

              Oh yeah, what ever happened to your argument that wind turbines killing a lot of birds doesn’t matter? Did you forget where you were?

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