Greenpeace has made several attacks on Apple’s stance on green energy. Apple, in response has decided to clean up its act by making their entire iCloud facility run on green energy by the end of 2012. Greenpeace’s articles accused Apple of not using several green energy alternatives taken advantage of by companies like Facebook or Google. Originally, Apple disputed the studies that backed Greenpeace’s articles and publications, until they had no choice but to back down and start using green energy.
The cloud facilities used by much of technology today require tremendous amounts of energy. Apple’s facility, for example, goes through 84 million kilowatt hours per year to operate its machinery, servers, and basic building operation. This makes these cloud facilities priority targets for green energy alternatives, as they’re eating up a much greater percentage of the energy.
Duke Energy’s coal based power plant is currently supplying the facility with electricity, and Apple will stay with that contract until the two incredibly large solar arrays are ready to come online and power the buildings. The power output from the solar arrays will be supplemented by green energy power cells, which will be fueled solely by biofuel, produced by burning renewable materials for energy.
Whatever the reason for the decisions, it’s great that Apple is going to such measures to get on board with renewable energy. It’s highly encouraging to see a company put our environment before their own bottom line. Hopefully other cloud based businesses, like Microsoft, will take the hint and start working on converting to renewable and green energy.