Print 45 comment(s) - last by testerguy.. on Feb 23 at 3:23 AM

Apple's North Carolina data center  (Source:
Apple's report also details its electricity consumption and green efforts over the last year

Apple has made some considerable green contributions to the renewable energy effort recently, including the company's Maiden, North Carolina data center, which will feature the U.S.' largest end user-owned, onsite solar array.

According to Apple's 2012 Facilities Report and Environmental Update, which describes the company's energy savings and environmental footprint in Apple stores, data centers and R&D buildings, solar power will become a huge part of its Maiden, North Carolina data center. In fact, Apple is out to build the largest end user-owned solar array in the nation.

The onsite solar array surrounding the facility will be approximately 100 acres. It will be a 20-megawatt facility that will generate about 42 million kWh of clean energy on an annual basis. Next to it will be the largest non-utility fuel cell installation in the U.S. as well, which will be a 5-megawatt facility generating 40 million kWh of 24x7 baseload of renewable energy annually.

The data center has already received some attention from the U.S. Green Building Council, which gave it LEED Platinum certification. Apple also mentioned that no other data center of its size has been awarded such a high level of LEED certification.

In addition to the Maiden, North Carolina data center, Apple has been making other green efforts to reduce its negative environmental impact. In 2011 alone, Apple consumed 493 million kWh of electricity as well as 3 million therms of natural gas. According to the report, Apple used renewable energy efforts to escape about 30 million kilograms of CO2e emissions. It has also managed to convert 54 million kWh of consumption annually to renewable energy in facilities around the world.

Apple seems to be joining the likes of other tech giants like Google, which has invested in many renewable energy initiatives such as a $75 million residential solar panel venture, the world's largest wind farm, and a $168 million investment in the Ivanpah solar electric generating system.

In December 2011, Apple patent applications described two new fuel cell-powered mobile device patents called "Fuel Cell System to Power a Portable Computing Device" and "Fuel Cell System Coupled to a Portable Computing Device."

Source: 9 to 5 Mac

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RE: Baby step
By testerguy on 2/22/2012 2:34:21 AM , Rating: 2
Energy is the most recyclable thing there ever has been. Ever heard of E=mC^2?

Don't confuse recyclable with the conservation of energy.

Much of the energy from say, driving a car, burning a fire, any movement actually, light, radiation - is dispersed over a massive exponentially increasing radius and it is not within even our theoretical capabilities to recapture said energy. Every day the earth loses lots of the energy we used ourselves in the form of heat dispersion, light and radiation. Good luck catching up with that energy and recapturing it. Any net 'in-flow' of energy is only relevant when you use said energy in the form of the exact renewable energy this factory is using.

Even mass theoretically can be made into energy or vice versa

The point being, the types of mass which we know how to generate energy from effectively, are running out, or we can't produce them quickly enough in high enough volumes to satisfy our ever increasing energy needs. Thus many power companies are turning to renewable energies.

We can take chemical energy and change it into kinetic energy

Only until we run out of the chemicals in question. Since you quote E=mC^2 - you must also therefore recognise that energy lost into space is also equivalent to mass being lost into space - it's not an unlimited supply.

Take any energy and it can theoretically be changed into any other form of energy

The obvious scientific principle that energy can be converted (with efficiency losses in nearly all cases, by the way) - is completely irrelevant when faced with the reality of our current world, in which our capability to 'covert' energy from certain materials is limited. Renewable energy sources are examples of converting energy - energy of which there is going to be a very long term stream. Contrast this to burning oil - which is running out. No matter what you cite in terms of E=mC^2 will mean that we can replace oil with mud, certainly with current technology. You seem to be envisaging a future world in which we can use any material for fuel - a scientific possibility but not even close to our current reality.

energy is the most recyclable thing that has ever existed.

Given that you quote E=mC^2, and given that mass and energy are arguably the ONLY things that exist, energy is only as recyclable as everything else in the world, making your sentence pointless. The difference is, energy typically (such as in the form of light or radiation, or heat) is far harder to re-capture and is currently lost in ever increasing spherical areas into outer space. The energy still exists, of course, but not in any relevant or helpful way to humans.

RE: Baby step
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 9:49:25 AM , Rating: 2
Sounds like you believe in the benefits of global warming. Keep the energy at home;)

RE: Baby step
By testerguy on 2/22/2012 1:04:46 PM , Rating: 2
Whether I believe in global warming or not, I believe that using renewable energy is a good and necessary thing.

RE: Baby step
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 4:43:10 PM , Rating: 2
Everyone agrees that the idea of a perpetual motion machine is a good thing, but it's also something impossible in a system on earth. Economics isn't about what's "good" per se, but what's the correct price for things. At what cost to everything else are you willing to obtain some renewable energy?

RE: Baby step
By testerguy on 2/23/2012 3:01:23 AM , Rating: 2
Everyone agrees that the idea of a perpetual motion machine is a good thing, but it's also something impossible in a system on earth

... which is completely irrelevant since renewable energy isn't a scientific possibility.

Economics isn't about what's "good" per se, but what's the correct price for things.

In this case, nobody is talking about 'good' - we're talking about necessary . The fact is oil is ALREADY running out - and thus there is a REQUIREMENT for alternative sources of energy. The cost of said sources doesn't change that fact - and can in fact only come down when more and more people (like this factory) implement it.

Since solar power, in this case, already pays for itself - the cost is actually less over time than alternative energy sources.

Turn your question around, at what cost are YOU willing to leave us with a worldwide dependence on a fuel which is running out, a clearly unsustainable path?

RE: Baby step
By testerguy on 2/23/2012 3:02:55 AM , Rating: 2

"Nowadays you can buy a CPU cheaper than the CPU fan." -- Unnamed AMD executive

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