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 1:15:26 PM , Rating: 2
BTW it's not hypocrisy. The original poster said that our economy has a cieling; that it is limited in it's ability to grow. I say it is not and back my claim.

What the original poster stated is that WITHOUT adapting to new technologies such as solar (such as this factory in this article) before it's too late, the economy will hit a ceiling. Not that it can't continue to grow if renewable and other alternative energy sources are pursued. I think perhaps the whole rant of yours is due to this fundamental misinterpretation on your part.

His comment that alternatives need to be found before we run out is exactly in line with the adaptation you describe.


Running scared from a boogeyman is not adapting. We need to obtain better understanding of what energies exist, how to reorganize them, and where we go from where we are. Creating a false scenario of the sky falling puts everyone into bunker mode and not progress mode.

I'm sorry but all the original poster suggested was 'adapting' - nothing he said even remotely meant 'running scared from a boogeyman'. If we waited until we had a 'better understanding of what energies exist' - it would be too late, since there have already arguably been wars over oil. Iran are also very close to causing another war over oil - and they are only able to do this due to us being very close to depleting our total capacity of oil.

In a world in which oil is becoming increasingly expensive, solar power are already economically viable, as are even domestic solar panels which can pay for themselves within 5 years.


We need efficiencies of capturing solar energy to be ECONOMICALLY viable before we can do without oil and nuclear, this is only occurs through reorganization and creation. Get the scientists to quit worrying about the end of the world and they might make something to help someone instead.

Firstly - It already is.

Secondly - is your solution to solar not being enough yet to go without oil or nuclear that solar should be ignored, and not used at all despite it proving economically viable and reducing dependence on oil or nuclear energy? (of which there is only a finite amount).

Thirdly - who said anything about the 'end of the world' - nobody. But by the way, energy independence that can only realistically be achieved by utilizing alternative energy sources such as nuclear or solar is a big factor in achieving world peace, an absence of which could actually mean a world war with devastating consequences.

Fourthly - Scientists are only now pushing the boundaries of alternative sources of power because the world knows that oil supplies are limited and alternatives need to be found. Without investment in cases like the factory being discussed there would not be the same industry. The approach you want is what is actually happening.

RE: Baby step
By Coldfriction on 2/22/2012 4:50:44 PM , Rating: 2
The laws of economics work like a balancing equation. If one side is heavy, something happens to balance the equation. Your fourth point shows this. But to artifically weight one side of the equation to obtain a result that is desired is not science or progress, it is manipulation of the laws that exist to get something desired. This occurs frequently with environmentalists, republicans, democrats, and people in general. Let's understand the equation instead of artificially weighing it to the advantage of our own perceptions, which are frequently incorrect.

RE: Baby step
By testerguy on 2/23/2012 3:11:36 AM , Rating: 2
Where do you get the 'artificial' part from?

The reason logical people (that is, the majority of scientists, even people in general) recognise that renewable energies are a good thing is because there is becoming an increasing need for them - as a natural consequence of running out of oil, which means that by a specific date or time, we have to have moved on from our oil dependence.

You have it backwards - you seem to think that we're artificially creating a need where one doesn't exist, and that that's somehow stopping the scientists (which doesn't make sense anyway). Actually, we're reaching logical conclusions based on the emerging need for alternative sources of energy. If there wasn't such a need, we wouldn't be such advocates. You yourself stated that when one energy runs out, we adapt to another. Unless you're suggesting we wait until the last drop of oil runs out, suffer through what would be one of the largest disasters of all time, and THEN start moving to solar power, your proposed adapting is exactly what scientists are already doing, and is already being implemented in projects like this one.

it is manipulation of the laws that exist to get something desired.

Ask yourself why alternative fuel is desired. It's nothing to do with politics - it's because the CURRENT fuel is running out . Apply the 'equation' you refer to - people can see oil prices rising already, people know that it's running out and we need to find alternatives, therefore people are investing in renewable energy. Quite obvious.

And by the way - this discussion isn't even necessarily about economics. Whether it's more expensive or not, we have no choice but to move away from our dependence on oil. The original poster was simply stating that if we DON'T do what's necessary, the economy would collapse. Believe me, in a world which was as dependent on oil as we are today, which had no oil left - the economy WOULD collapse. So, to be clear, he was citing a consequence in terms of the economy of not adapting to renewable energies. NOT that the reason for pursing renewable energies was of itself primarily the economy - the primary reason is for us as a race to survive.

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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