Apple now runs on 100 percent renewable energy

13

Comments

  • Reply 41 of 79
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,138member
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    On the one hand I see this as an amazing milestone, but I also can’t help but wonder if there are caveats to this sort of press release. Can Apple do better outside of just, say, being able to add more anything over 100% of their renewable back to the grid to help reduce costs for others over time? How much more would they have to do to get Foxconn, Pegatron, Corning, LG, Samsung, and all their other major suppliers (for their specific component assembly) to get folded into this mix? How does this translate for all the ground and air transportation fuel expenditures, if that's even possible to convert in a reasonable manner? And does this only account for energy used by one facility once another facility is suppling power, or do they take into consider the resources needed into to create these renewable energy facilities?
    There’s even more to consider.  The energy used by its employees’ daily commutes, for example.  But Apple has made a significant start and won’t soon stop in their efforts.  

    One area where I think Apple deserves some credit in in making their products more compute efficient.  Control of the entire technology stack allows an iPhone, for example, to perform the same task as a competitor’s smartphone using less energy.  It’s the reason you see larger batteries in many Android phones but holding the same useful time between charges.  You use more energy from your wall outlet to recharge those other phones.  While it might not seem significant to most users, since its only a few watts per charge cycle, there are billions of such devices in use around the world, and so saving a few hundred milliwatts per device per charge would potentially offset the output of a number of power plants.  Apple thinks about such things.   
    I know this is a extremely unfavorable idea, but I wish that Apple would remove the PSU for a variety of reasons that would reduce waste. I'm not saying not to offer it as an option for a purchase. Even as we move into inductive charging solutions this becomes even more of a benefit as those are 3rd-party solutions. I won't go into the half-dozen benefits to Apple and the environment again as I've stated numerous times over the last several years.
    Wasn't the whole point of the USB mandate so companies didn't need to ship a power brick with ever device. Look at how much package volume could be saved if Apple took the brick out of iPhone boxes and shipped a bunch just loose in a box direct to the stores. Some stores would might only need 10%-15% others maybe still 100% even then the brick pushes the box to 2.5-3 times the volume of the brick itself so big saving to be had.  They could offer credit against other accessories as trade.
    Soli
  • Reply 42 of 79
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,367member
    blastdoor said:
    ...for consideration:

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/11/141111-solar-panel-manufacturing-sustainability-ranking/

    ...is it a long road still ahead, and a future we ultimately really want...?

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9L0pord5jE


    Solar panels address a first-order environmental issue -- climate change.  

    The issues raised here are second-order. 
    How about showing pictures and videos of all the coal mines throughout the world.  I'll take nice clean solar arrays any day not to mention men are not dying of black lung deep below them.
    baconstang
  • Reply 43 of 79
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,261member
    mattinoz said:
    Soli said:
    Soli said:
    On the one hand I see this as an amazing milestone, but I also can’t help but wonder if there are caveats to this sort of press release. Can Apple do better outside of just, say, being able to add more anything over 100% of their renewable back to the grid to help reduce costs for others over time? How much more would they have to do to get Foxconn, Pegatron, Corning, LG, Samsung, and all their other major suppliers (for their specific component assembly) to get folded into this mix? How does this translate for all the ground and air transportation fuel expenditures, if that's even possible to convert in a reasonable manner? And does this only account for energy used by one facility once another facility is suppling power, or do they take into consider the resources needed into to create these renewable energy facilities?
    There’s even more to consider.  The energy used by its employees’ daily commutes, for example.  But Apple has made a significant start and won’t soon stop in their efforts.  

    One area where I think Apple deserves some credit in in making their products more compute efficient.  Control of the entire technology stack allows an iPhone, for example, to perform the same task as a competitor’s smartphone using less energy.  It’s the reason you see larger batteries in many Android phones but holding the same useful time between charges.  You use more energy from your wall outlet to recharge those other phones.  While it might not seem significant to most users, since its only a few watts per charge cycle, there are billions of such devices in use around the world, and so saving a few hundred milliwatts per device per charge would potentially offset the output of a number of power plants.  Apple thinks about such things.   
    I know this is a extremely unfavorable idea, but I wish that Apple would remove the PSU for a variety of reasons that would reduce waste. I'm not saying not to offer it as an option for a purchase. Even as we move into inductive charging solutions this becomes even more of a benefit as those are 3rd-party solutions. I won't go into the half-dozen benefits to Apple and the environment again as I've stated numerous times over the last several years.
    Wasn't the whole point of the USB mandate so companies didn't need to ship a power brick with ever device. Look at how much package volume could be saved if Apple took the brick out of iPhone boxes and shipped a bunch just loose in a box direct to the stores. Some stores would might only need 10%-15% others maybe still 100% even then the brick pushes the box to 2.5-3 times the volume of the brick itself so big saving to be had.  They could offer credit against other accessories as trade.
    Smaller volume boxes which translates to less material for packaging, lighter boxes for transport, being able to transport more per shipment, and being able to store more units in a smaller area.

    But the real benefit is the materials used in the PSU that either sit in a drawer or, if they are disposed of, tend to go right into a landfill. They have some pretty environmentally unfriendly materials in them.

    Apple sells their 5W and 12W PSUs for $19 each, which may seem pricey to some but there aren't many other vendors I'd trust. I'm sure they make a major killing on the stand-alone accessories, as companies are wont to do, but if they dropped the price of an iPhone by even just a measly $5 by not include a PSU would anyone be OK with that considering how many most of use probably already have? I've been using old 12W iPad chargers for my iPhone for so long now that I don't think I've even removed the 5W PSU (or included EarPods, for that matter) from the box for a good 5 years now.

    Well, occasionally I'll gift the Lighting cable or EarPods to someone but no one ever seems to need the 5W PSU. And that's before we consider how Qi charging will be even more relevant this year than last when it comes to Lightning cable wear-and-tear. I feel this will happen—note, this is not the same as saying Apple should do it—but I think I could easily be a half-decade or more before it's even a rumor, like with ARM-based Macs, removing the ODD, Retina IPS Macs, moving to USB-C, and countless others things I had wished Apple had done earlier.
    edited April 2018 mattinozmuthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 44 of 79
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,261member
    MacPro said:
    blastdoor said:
    ...for consideration:

    https://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/energy/2014/11/141111-solar-panel-manufacturing-sustainability-ranking/

    ...is it a long road still ahead, and a future we ultimately really want...?

    www.youtube.com/watch?v=u9L0pord5jE

    [image]

    Solar panels address a first-order environmental issue -- climate change.  

    The issues raised here are second-order. 
    How about showing pictures and videos of all the coal mines throughout the world.  I'll take nice clean solar arrays any day not to mention men are not dying of black lung deep below them.
    A bit off topic so I understand if this comments gets deleted by the admins, but did you see that coal mining deaths are on the rise again with the safety regulations being removed. Sad.

    baconstangmattinozmuthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 45 of 79
    JinTechJinTech Posts: 392member
    So an honest question. They mention they are at 100% but how can some their retail stores be apart of this if they are in say malls like "Mall of America" or others?
  • Reply 46 of 79
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,261member
    JinTech said:
    So an honest question. They mention they are at 100% but how can some their retail stores be apart of this if they are in say malls like "Mall of America" or others?
    My assumption is that if a store uses n MW then they have put ≥ n MW back on the grid from one of their renewable energy facilities to compensate, but that's just speculation on my part.
    JinTechmuthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 47 of 79
    zroger73 said:
    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    Ah, the old myth.
    Over the lifetime of the say, solar panel, it will save many, many times more than the amount of CO2 that was generated in its manufacture.
    muthuk_vanalingampropodjony0
  • Reply 48 of 79
    mattinozmattinoz Posts: 1,138member
    zroger73 said:
    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    Ah, the old myth.
    Over the lifetime of the say, solar panel, it will save many, many times more than the amount of CO2 that was generated in its manufacture.
    I understand carbon payback for wind is under 6months any where they are worth building.
  • Reply 49 of 79
    anton zuykovanton zuykov Posts: 1,040member
    linkman said:
    zroger73 said:
    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators?
    If you have a better solution, please speak up. Is your idea to just continue using things like coal and oil because they produce less CO2 than the "renewable" methods?

    Apple has a fantastic green program that includes a few things not mentioned in the article. Apple's products usually use less electricity than the competition. Their packaging is ridiculously minimal. Their gift cards are plant-based, not plastic.
    Ehh...well, if your concern is to damage the env-t LESS, you choose something that damages it LESS. You do not choose it, because it tickles your green (eco) pickle and makes you feel good about the env-t, regardless of the long terms consequences for that env-t! There is a comparison between a Tesla and a smaller ECI vehicle. Tesla has a slightly higher emissions footprint, when considering the whole manufacturing process, and not just when the car is being driven. 
    When there is a significantly better solution, ECIs will go away, but this moment simply has not yet arrived, and pretending it is not so, would be simply lying to yourself. What is especially stupid, is - based on that lie - the argument goes that we need to revamp our existing transportation system, while missing the fact that THAT will damage the env-t A LOT MORE than the existing ICEs will do if we just keep running them. Sorry, but it is just cold hard truth. Yes, I would like a greener tech, but while it is not ready, it would be absolutely moronic to push it into a mass-produced market just because of the feelz.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 50 of 79
    asciiascii Posts: 5,941member
    It's not necessarily true that the Earth will one day be destroyed by the Sun, we might have the technology to move it by then.
    randominternetperson
  • Reply 51 of 79
    Soli said:
    JinTech said:
    So an honest question. They mention they are at 100% but how can some their retail stores be apart of this if they are in say malls like "Mall of America" or others?
    My assumption is that if a store uses n MW then they have put ≥ n MW back on the grid from one of their renewable energy facilities to compensate, but that's just speculation on my part.
    That sounds like a plausible explanation. Which makes Apple’s statement a bit misleading.

    It’s like saying: “oh, you continue to drop a little bit of poison in the river there, but then we will compensate that by cleaning up the water over here.”

    (I realize the comparison isn’t 100% accurate)
    It is better than the alternative - not doing anything. 
  • Reply 52 of 79
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 238member
    Who cares? They still can't even make a monitor. Basics first.
    zroger73SpamSandwich
  • Reply 53 of 79
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,096member
    So does this mean that every Apple facility generates its own power or that the total sum of all power generated by Apple is enough to run all their facilities and the excess renewable power is re-distributed onto the grid?
    Neither one.

    The actual statement from Apple doesn't say they produce enough power for all their facilities (they don't), it's that the power they use is matched from 100% renewable sources, Obviously not every facility could be physically powered from a renewable source either, it's simply an overall power matching claim rather than a per-location thing. Maybe someday. 
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 54 of 79
    sflocal said:
    zroger73 said:
    "Earth's resources won't last forever."

    Well, neither will humans or Apple or our sun no matter how much "renewable energy" we use.

    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    It's a nice PR move.
    This comment is just asinine. Just because there isn’t an infinite amount of a resource does not mean one should squander away the supply that exists. Conserving limited resources (to the extent possible) is the only sensical longer term viewpoint. It would like saying we only have 90 day of rations and are marooned on a desert island. Your view is, well since we don’t have infinite rations we might as well eat them all today. Makes zero sense.

    The amount of limited resources consumed to allow for the collection of, a more or less, infinite source of power, while not neglible, is clearly the most prudent use for said resources as it produces more than it consumes. 

    Is it a fair assumption you hail from generations of coal miners who refused to move on/relocate when the modern world rendered them obsolete.

    As for Apple this is fantastic news. It is quite impressive given their size and geographic footprint. I’m curious how many other companies have achieved this.
    I don't think he was being asinine.  The reality is just about all resources that humanity requires to support it's society is running on borrowed time.  We'd need an earth seven times larger if we were to mine all the resources to convert every car on the planet to electric.  The amount of resources - and toxicity - to create solar panels to me almost negates the positive contributions they make.  We're getting better, we're getting clearer, but in the end with an ever-growing world population straining resources even more... something is going to give.
    Fatalism is not a strategy.  Just because Apple isn’t doing something about population growth or searching out six more Earths doesn’t imply we should just throw up our hands.  The original commenter appealed to the extreme, an absurd comment about the sun not lasting forever.  Such statements don’t further the discussion.   
    Apple started it.  The second sentence in their statement is "Earth's resources won't last forever."  That is only true in the cosmic timescale.  Serious people have been predicting that we will run out of fossil fuels within a couple decades for half a century or more, to be proven wrong time after time.  It is an economic fact that technology and economic incentives will drive efficiencies in resource use and resource extraction so that, in practice, very few resources are "limited." 

    Don't get me wrong, it's because of actions like Apple's to move to renewable energy sources that this is the case.  So "good job, Apple."  But they are the ones who started the "fatalistic" talk by their assertion.  My reaction was the same as zroger73's.  "I suppose that's true because eventually the sun will die, but otherwise..." 
    SpamSandwichdesignr
  • Reply 55 of 79
    asdasdasdasd Posts: 5,321member
    sflocal said:
    zroger73 said:
    "Earth's resources won't last forever."

    Well, neither will humans or Apple or our sun no matter how much "renewable energy" we use.

    How much CO2 was produced and will continue to be produced to manufacture and maintain those solar panels, batteries, fuel cells, wind-powered generators? Mmmhmm. Exactly.

    It's a nice PR move.
    This comment is just asinine. Just because there isn’t an infinite amount of a resource does not mean one should squander away the supply that exists. Conserving limited resources (to the extent possible) is the only sensical longer term viewpoint. It would like saying we only have 90 day of rations and are marooned on a desert island. Your view is, well since we don’t have infinite rations we might as well eat them all today. Makes zero sense.

    The amount of limited resources consumed to allow for the collection of, a more or less, infinite source of power, while not neglible, is clearly the most prudent use for said resources as it produces more than it consumes. 

    Is it a fair assumption you hail from generations of coal miners who refused to move on/relocate when the modern world rendered them obsolete.

    As for Apple this is fantastic news. It is quite impressive given their size and geographic footprint. I’m curious how many other companies have achieved this.
    I don't think he was being asinine.  The reality is just about all resources that humanity requires to support it's society is running on borrowed time.  We'd need an earth seven times larger if we were to mine all the resources to convert every car on the planet to electric.  The amount of resources - and toxicity - to create solar panels to me almost negates the positive contributions they make.  We're getting better, we're getting clearer, but in the end with an ever-growing world population straining resources even more... something is going to give.
    Fatalism is not a strategy.  Just because Apple isn’t doing something about population growth or searching out six more Earths doesn’t imply we should just throw up our hands.  The original commenter appealed to the extreme, an absurd comment about the sun not lasting forever.  Such statements don’t further the discussion.   
    Apple started it.  The second sentence in their statement is "Earth's resources won't last forever."  That is only true in the cosmic timescale.  Serious people have been predicting that we will run out of fossil fuels within a couple decades for half a century or more, to be proven wrong time after time.  It is an economic fact that technology and economic incentives will drive efficiencies in resource use and resource extraction so that, in practice, very few resources are "limited." 

    Don't get me wrong, it's because of actions like Apple's to move to renewable energy sources that this is the case.  So "good job, Apple."  But they are the ones who started the "fatalistic" talk by their assertion.  My reaction was the same as zroger73's.  "I suppose that's true because eventually the sun will die, but otherwise..." 
    I mean, that isn't an eternal law of economics. Fish is over fished for instance and has to be curtailed by law. Thats because fish isn't replaceable, although it can be farmed. Oil on the other hand is just one of many energy sources. I too believe it will never run out precisely because it can be replaced. 
  • Reply 56 of 79
    thttht Posts: 3,249member
    Soli said:
    JinTech said:
    So an honest question. They mention they are at 100% but how can some their retail stores be apart of this if they are in say malls like "Mall of America" or others?
    My assumption is that if a store uses n MW then they have put ≥ n MW back on the grid from one of their renewable energy facilities to compensate, but that's just speculation on my part.
    That sounds like a plausible explanation. Which makes Apple’s statement a bit misleading.

    It’s like saying: “oh, you continue to drop a little bit of poison in the river there, but then we will compensate that by cleaning up the water over here.”

    (I realize the comparison isn’t 100% accurate)
    It is better than the alternative - not doing anything. 
    It’s the standard power purchase agreements that virtually all companies and entities do in the world if their power is provided by the grid. And it works to promote renewable energy powering the grid. There’s nothing wrong with the statement. Google does it the same way. Walmart does it the same way. If you buy a 100% renewable power plan from an electricity company for your house, it is the exact same arrangement.

    Power is purchased by middleman companies from power producers. They in turn sell that power to clients, be it a residence or a business building. If I buy a 100% renewable energy plan, that means every kWHr of energy I purchased must be fed into the grid by renewable energy. So, if people buy renewable power, it puts pressure on power producers to invest in renewable energy. Standard supply-demand economics.

    We are at the end stage of the early adopter phase of this transition and mainstream penetration of renewables will hit the grid in the next decade. Renewables are currently cheaper to build than building new fossil fuel plants. Renewables will soon be cheaper to build and run than running and maintaining existing fossil fuel plants. All these investments from these big companies buying 100% renewable energy are doing their part in ramping mass production of renewables and thereby making it cheaper. Virtuous cycle.

    It’s always strange to read these type of threads. This is the net-net the right thing to do.
  • Reply 57 of 79
    Apple outsources 98% of it's manufacturing. This is the equivalent of GM saying the're energy neutral because their corporate office has solar panels, meanwhile their factories in China are burning coal.
    edited April 2018 randominternetperson
  • Reply 58 of 79
    LatkoLatko Posts: 398member
    Soli said:
    So does this mean that every Apple facility generates its own power or that the total sum of all power generated by Apple is enough to run all their facilities and the excess renewable power is re-distributed onto the grid?
    The latter, which means that (I think) London Apple Stores aren't going to have solar panels on the roof, but that their NV solar farm sends more back to the grid, which probably isn't getting registered by the UK, but maybe they are using wind turbines in the countryside so that each country is 100% renewable for the power it's using. Lots of potential avenues for calculation this which will undoubtedly lead to more questions, but still a remarkable achievement in its own right.
    Apple uses a myriad of classical buildings as offices, headquarters and stores in city centers and shopping malls all over the world. Many of these are conventionally heated and still mostly depend on fossil energy. Nobody ever saw Apple repleting gas and oil in the soil where those fuels came from. This makes the claim that they solved the energy transition for 100% outright ridiculous. The energy puzzle is not a matter of energy generation, but energy distribution. In that context, Apple has hardly started. Given their wealth they could also buy x times their own emission rights (without even noticing on their P/L) and then claim they solved the issue.
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 59 of 79
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,261member
    Soli said:
    JinTech said:
    So an honest question. They mention they are at 100% but how can some their retail stores be apart of this if they are in say malls like "Mall of America" or others?
    My assumption is that if a store uses n MW then they have put ≥ n MW back on the grid from one of their renewable energy facilities to compensate, but that's just speculation on my part.
    That sounds like a plausible explanation. Which makes Apple’s statement a bit misleading.

    It’s like saying: “oh, you continue to drop a little bit of poison in the river there, but then we will compensate that by cleaning up the water over here.”

    (I realize the comparison isn’t 100% accurate)
    It is better than the alternative - not doing anything. 
    Sure, that's why I mentioned caveats in my original post. The London can't reasonably have solar panels or wind turbines directly connected to each store so even if they only did a per-nation exchange of power there's still a lot of asterisks, footnotes, and explanations which I doubt I'd find in their press release (which I admit I only quickly skimmed).

    Then, of course, there are so many other areas of how we use energy from sourcing lithium, to Corning manufacturing glass, to Foxconn manufacturing to all the transportation using fossil fuels that we're still in the infancy of the possibilities. That said, I'm not saying that Apple's efforts aren't already monumental or commendable for the scale of their operation, only that there's still a lot more they can do. I'm glad they're the leading the charge.
  • Reply 60 of 79
    I think it's great what Apple is doing, however green energy still impacts the environment in a negative way. Wind turbines kill a ton of birds each year. There needs to be more regulation so these wind farms can't continue to kill thousands of federally protected birds with impunity each year. 
    The whole wind turbines and birds thing is a distraction. If I can quote from a 2014 article in Treehugger:

    "But if the goal is to save birds, we have to look at the actual facts on the ground and not just at whatever story makes for the catchiest headline.

    A recent peer-reviewed study, which itself looked at 116 other studies from the U.S. and Canada, confirms that wind turbines are waaaay down the list of problems for birds; in fact by displacing fossil fuels they are helping birds, as well as everything else that is alive on the planet. A recent report confirmed that "hundreds of bird species in the U.S. — including the bald eagle and eight state birds, from Idaho to Maryland — are at 'serious risk' due to climate change. It said some species are forecast to lose more than 95% of their current ranges."

    Further on in the same article:

    Wind turbines kill between 214,000 and 368,000 birds annually — a small fraction compared with the estimated 6.8 million fatalities from collisions with cell and radio towers and the 1.4 billion to 3.7 billion deaths from cats, according to the peer-reviewed study by two federal scientists and the environmental consulting firm West Inc.

    "We estimate that on an annual basis, less than 0.1% ... of songbird and other small passerine species populations in North America perish from collisions with turbines," says lead author Wallace Erickson of Wyoming-based West.


    Also, the UK organisation RSPB believes that while an issue, it's not enough to halt building turbines but means more thought about siting: https://www.rspb.org.uk/our-work/our-positions-and-casework/our-positions/climate-change/action-to-tackle-climate-change/uk-energy-policy/wind-farms

    edited April 2018 Solitht
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