Apple now runs on 100 percent renewable energy

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Comments

  • Reply 61 of 79
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,404member
    Good on them for doing this voluntarily and not because of misguided regulations.
    Yes good on Apple and Google (taking Gatorguy’s word on this), 2 out of approximately 6,000,000 companies in the USA. That means with 99.999967% of them going 100% renewable fossil fuels days are numbered. Free market unbridled capitalism coupled with corporate responsibility is working! Oh silly SpamSanwich that’s not how math works, my calculation was off, turns out only 0.00003333% are doing so without any “misguided” regulations. Surely the trend is just off to a slow start, much like Surface sales. 

    Seriously could we not have stopped at “good on them for doing this” without having to toss in the republican political sentiment. It a tech blog after all, not Fox News.
    All I’m seeing here is a bunch of clucking chickenspeak.
  • Reply 62 of 79
    boltsfan17boltsfan17 Posts: 2,178member
    Soli said:
    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. 
    I don't disagree that we can make wind turbines better for the environment, but let's keep things in perspective. Without getting into any partisan politics, we now have someone running the EPA that is literally against any environmental protections, which is absurd in every conceivable way.

    ...is a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda…

    I wish that was a joke.
    I'm definitely not a fan of Scott Pruitt. It's pretty sad the head of the EPA doesn't give a crap about protecting the environment. I'm still pretty pissed about him wanting to downsize all these great National Monuments. A few of them, I visit every year to go camping. 
  • Reply 63 of 79
    mknelsonmknelson Posts: 366member
    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.
    Plus in the long run as more renewables are installed the more that will be used for production and the CO2 argument just gets weaker.

    My favourite "green" story: https://arstechnica.com/cars/2017/09/this-cement-quarry-dump-truck-will-be-the-worlds-biggest-electric-vehicle/
  • Reply 64 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

    Holy cow!  Billions (with a B ) of birds are killed every year by cats??  Let's get people outraged about that.  What color ribbon should we use for "avian genocide awareness"?
    edited April 2018
  • Reply 65 of 79
    asdasd said:
    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. 
    Good clarification.  Fortunately most fossil fuels and natural resources are "protected" by property rights of some sort, so people (or nations) have an economic incentive to exploit them efficiently (ignoring the obvious externalities associated with things like fracking and energy production in general).
    designr
  • Reply 66 of 79
    MuntzMuntz Posts: 26member
    gatorguy 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.
    There is at least one other big tech that's done so.
    As they rape their users of their privacy? How long does Google keep data on each user? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? After Facebook, Google is going down next. Enjoy your shill-check.
  • Reply 67 of 79
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,106member
    Muntz said:
    gatorguy 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.
    There is at least one other big tech that's done so.
    As they rape their users of their privacy? How long does Google keep data on each user? 2 years? 5 years? 10 years? After Facebook, Google is going down next. Enjoy your shill-check.
    I've no idea. I deleted all of mine older than a year. If you had a Google account you could too, even delete all of it if you want. That's how long they keep it: Only as long as you allow them to. But since you're unlikely to have a Google account what does it matter to you, they don't have a "user file" on you anyway? How long does Apple keep your data on file? If you're in Europe you'll have some idea by the 25th of next month. Elsewhere in the world it may be a tad longer. 

    The silly little personal attack you had to throw in "because that's just what you do" served no purpose other than... well... silliness. 
    edited April 2018 muthuk_vanalingam
  • Reply 68 of 79
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 31,404member
    Soli said:
    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. 
    I don't disagree that we can make wind turbines better for the environment, but let's keep things in perspective. Without getting into any partisan politics, we now have someone running the EPA that is literally against any environmental protections, which is absurd in every conceivable way.

    ...is a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda…

    I wish that was a joke.
    I'm definitely not a fan of Scott Pruitt. It's pretty sad the head of the EPA doesn't give a crap about protecting the environment. I'm still pretty pissed about him wanting to downsize all these great National Monuments. A few of them, I visit every year to go camping. 
    Control over national parks should all revert back to the states. It's unconscionable the Feds basically confiscated these lands to begin with.
    tallest skildesignr
  • Reply 69 of 79
    thttht Posts: 3,249member
    Soli said:
    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. 
    I don't disagree that we can make wind turbines better for the environment, but let's keep things in perspective. Without getting into any partisan politics, we now have someone running the EPA that is literally against any environmental protections, which is absurd in every conceivable way.

    ...is a leading advocate against the EPA’s activist agenda…

    I wish that was a joke.
    I'm definitely not a fan of Scott Pruitt. It's pretty sad the head of the EPA doesn't give a crap about protecting the environment. I'm still pretty pissed about him wanting to downsize all these great National Monuments. A few of them, I visit every year to go camping. 
    Control over national parks should all revert back to the states. It's unconscionable the Feds basically confiscated these lands to begin with.
    To be a little more accurate, the opening of national monuments and parks for private company use was done by the Dept. of Interior, not the EPA. The current DOI Secretary is ex-Montana governor Ryan Zinke. The EPA doesn’t have administrative control of national parks or federal lands.
  • Reply 70 of 79
    wozwozwozwoz Posts: 238member
    dewme said:
    Very commendable. This is how leading by example is supposed to work.
    Who cares about solar  when Apple can't even make a monitor anymore? Time to get your priorities right.
  • Reply 71 of 79
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,296member
    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.
    According to this, it's much more indirect than that.
    http://industrialprogress.com/the-truth-about-apples-100-renewable-energy-usage/

  • Reply 72 of 79
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,271member
    cgWerks said:
    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.
    According to this, it's much more indirect than that.
    http://industrialprogress.com/the-truth-about-apples-100-renewable-energy-usage/
    Nice find. I would've been very surprised if they were segmented their resources to a particular country or region at this point.
  • Reply 73 of 79
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 928member
    cgWerks said:
    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.
    According to this, it's much more indirect than that.
    http://industrialprogress.com/the-truth-about-apples-100-renewable-energy-usage/

    I'm not an advocate of tearing down all of the coal-fired plants (yet) but that article is biased and misleading. Yes, there is some degree of accounting "shifting" going on with green credits (and the huge opportunity for outright deception), but it's possible to make better sense out of it than the sailing analogy they provided. A better analogy with sailing/diesel is that Apple built some sail-only transports that carry the same passenger-miles as their diesel/sail boat and those 100% sail powered ones counter the diesel use. It's a 1:1 reduction.

    The article also states "because “renewables” advocates generally refuse to support the only cost-effective “renewable” option, large-scale hydroelectric power." The only cost-effective option is large-scale hydro? Wow.

    It is intuitively obvious to the casual observer that the industrialprogress.com web site is totally slanted in favor of fossil fuel use. 
  • Reply 74 of 79
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,296member
    linkman said:
    I'm not an advocate of tearing down all of the coal-fired plants (yet) but that article is biased and misleading. Yes, there is some degree of accounting "shifting" going on with green credits (and the huge opportunity for outright deception), but it's possible to make better sense out of it than the sailing analogy they provided. A better analogy with sailing/diesel is that Apple built some sail-only transports that carry the same passenger-miles as their diesel/sail boat and those 100% sail powered ones counter the diesel use. It's a 1:1 reduction.

    The article also states "because “renewables” advocates generally refuse to support the only cost-effective “renewable” option, large-scale hydroelectric power." The only cost-effective option is large-scale hydro? Wow.

    It is intuitively obvious to the casual observer that the industrialprogress.com web site is totally slanted in favor of fossil fuel use. 
    I agree that they have a bias, but so don't the alt-energy advocates. The question is whether they are right or not. I agree their analogy and take on it is a bit weak, but I think what's in question is whether it really is a 1:1 reduction, or if they are just paying someone else to pollute for them (or what balance).

    Also, it depends what is meant by 'large scale' but I think that aspect is also relatively correct. Even Germany (the world leader in renewables) only produces something like 7% of their power in that way. The best I've seen are the sun-based arrays in the desert that 'cook' the salts up in a tower. But, I think compared to a bit hydroelectric dam, it's still not that big in terms of output.

    I'm all for renewables, but it has to be realistic too.
  • Reply 75 of 79
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 928member
    cgWerks said:

    Also, it depends what is meant by 'large scale' but I think that aspect is also relatively correct. Even Germany (the world leader in renewables) only produces something like 7% of their power in that way. The best I've seen are the sun-based arrays in the desert that 'cook' the salts up in a tower. But, I think compared to a bit hydroelectric dam, it's still not that big in terms of output.

    I'm all for renewables, but it has to be realistic too.
    The largest concentrated solar power installation, the 370 MW Ivanpah Solar facility, pales in comparison to Three Gorges dam's 22500 MW. It has no storage capability where that hydro can run 24 hours a day (but some CSPs can store heat). Right now photovoltaics have a price edge on CSP. There is actually a 1547 MW PV farm (Tengger Desert Solar Park) in China. If it's anything like Topaz solar farm then it has about 15 million PV panels!
  • Reply 76 of 79
    thttht Posts: 3,249member
    cgWerks said:
    I agree that they have a bias, but so don't the alt-energy advocates. The question is whether they are right or not. I agree their analogy and take on it is a bit weak, but I think what's in question is whether it really is a 1:1 reduction, or if they are just paying someone else to pollute for them (or what balance).

    Also, it depends what is meant by 'large scale' but I think that aspect is also relatively correct. Even Germany (the world leader in renewables) only produces something like 7% of their power in that way. The best I've seen are the sun-based arrays in the desert that 'cook' the salts up in a tower. But, I think compared to a bit hydroelectric dam, it's still not that big in terms of output.

    I'm all for renewables, but it has to be realistic too.

    It’s a one to one reduction, otherwise there will be a lot of lawsuits. I have a 100% renewable energy plan at 8.8¢ per kWHr. I have a full expectation that for every kWHr of energy I use means there is an equivalent kWHr from a renewable energy source put into the grid. Easy thing to do as Texas ERCOT has 22 GW of wind power capacity in 2017, and rising solar. If it is not, it’s lawsuit time, and I don’t think any of these power companies who promise 100% renewable will have a leg to stand on if it is found out they are not buying energy from renewable power sources. It’s in the contract. I’m just a John Doe. Do you think Apple, who really does want to push renewable energy, would not care how they are getting power?

    For Germany, here is what Fraunhofer ISE website says is powering Germany.
    https://www.energy-charts.de/energy_pie.htm?year=2017


    The website looks like it provides day by day, month to month, year by year data for energy and power. It also looks to provide forecasts to, including daily. For the 2017 year, it looks like 26% of the energy generated in Germany’s grids came from solar and wind power. If hydro and biomass are included, it’s 38%. They are forecasting for the 2018 year to be at 42%.

    For comparison, Texas had about 13% to 15% of electricity generated by wind in 2017. That 19% from wind in Germany is definitely a reasonable number. For Texas, the percentage of energy provided by wind is only going to go up as there is something like 5 to 10 more GW of new wind generation in the works. Sometime in the next couple of years, there will be days in the winter when over 50% of energy used by ERCOT will come from wind.
    Soli
  • Reply 77 of 79
    cgWerkscgWerks Posts: 2,296member
    linkman said:
    The largest concentrated solar power installation, the 370 MW Ivanpah Solar facility, pales in comparison to Three Gorges dam's 22500 MW. It has no storage capability where that hydro can run 24 hours a day (but some CSPs can store heat). Right now photovoltaics have a price edge on CSP. There is actually a 1547 MW PV farm (Tengger Desert Solar Park) in China. If it's anything like Topaz solar farm then it has about 15 million PV panels!
    Great info, yeah. I also can't help but wonder what the environmental impact is of creating and sustaining 15M PV panels. While I love sun-based solutions, as it's a great power-source that is relatively untapped, I just want to make sure we're not making dumb trade-offs due to hysteria. My other concern is how much damage and (keeping them in their place) is going to result from the attempts to 'fix' the perceived problem.

    tht said:
    It’s a one to one reduction, otherwise there will be a lot of lawsuits. I have a 100% renewable energy plan at 8.8¢ per kWHr. I have a full expectation that for every kWHr of energy I use means there is an equivalent kWHr from a renewable energy source put into the grid.
    ...

    For Germany, here is what Fraunhofer ISE website says is powering Germany.
    ...
    The website looks like it provides day by day, month to month, year by year data for energy and power. It also looks to provide forecasts to, including daily. For the 2017 year, it looks like 26% of the energy generated in Germany’s grids came from solar and wind power. If hydro and biomass are included, it’s 38%. They are forecasting for the 2018 year to be at 42%.
    I think the problem is that 'reduction' is a bit tricky, until there is actually enough renewables capacity. If I, instead of throwing a trash-bag in the street, pay someone else to take my trash bag and throw it in their street instead, my street looks cleaner, but I haven't actually accomplished anything in total. I think that's my problem with this.

    re: Germany - If true, that's great. That contradicts what I've heard though, but I'm no expert in this.

    I'd like to see more nuclear used. My understanding is that modern methods and technologies can make it pretty safe and relatively clean. Then as wind/solar come on-line, they can start to move even more of the pie. But, if we don't have actual capacity, then much of this is just a kind of shell-game, IMO.
  • Reply 78 of 79
    tallest skiltallest skil Posts: 43,399member
    I still like the idea the Japanese had in the 1980s of building an orbiting solar array and beaming the power down via microwaves. Of course, it would be assembled in space and (since it wouldn’t ever turn a profit otherwise) also be manufactured in space using metals mined from an asteroid tugged into Earth orbit. Might be 2030 before anyone starts thinking about that again.
  • Reply 79 of 79
    linkmanlinkman Posts: 928member
    cgWerks said:
    I think the problem is that 'reduction' is a bit tricky, until there is actually enough renewables capacity. If I, instead of throwing a trash-bag in the street, pay someone else to take my trash bag and throw it in their street instead, my street looks cleaner, but I haven't actually accomplished anything in total. I think that's my problem with this.
    I think a better analogy is that you and your neighbor regularly both throw trash bags into your streets. With the credit plan, you pay your neighbor to not throw his into his street while you still throw yours into your street. Without the credit, your neighbor would still toss his into his street. So with credits, the net is cleaner streets.
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