Apple is America's top corporate user of solar energy

Posted:
in General Discussion
Apple becomes the first technology company to take the top spot in an annual survey of solar energy usage in business, ahead of Amazon and Target.


Lisa Jackson, Apple's Vice President for Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives


Apple, Inc is the business with the greatest amount of solar energy capacity in the US, according to a new report from the Solar Energy Industries Association (SEIA). The organization has been charting the use of solar for the last seven years, and claims that never before has a technology firm come first.

"Counting both on-site and offsite capacity, Apple takes the top spot with 393 megawatts (MW) of solar installed," said SEIA in its report Solar Means Business, "marking the first year a company in the tech space sits atop the leaderboard."

Last year's top company, Amazon, which is now in second place, is strictly speaking a technology firm because of its AWS business, but counts in this survey as a retailer. Amazon has a total solar energy-generating capacity of 329.8MW and third-place company, Target, has 242.4MW.

"Top companies are increasingly investing in clean, reliable solar energy because it makes economic sense," said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper in a statement. "Corporate solar investments will become even more significant as businesses use solar to fight climate change, create jobs and boost local economies."

"When global brands go solar," she continued, "the rest of the world takes note, and this report puts the power of corporate solar investment on full display."

While Apple announced in 2018 that its entire global operation is powered by 100% renewable energy sources, it specifically gained the top spot for solar because of what SEIA describes as "a 130MW off-site project that came online in California."

The report does not identify that project, but it's most likely to be the South Monterey installation from which Apple bought 130 MW to provide power to Apple Park.

On-site installations are ones such as Apple Park which feature solar panels on the building itself, while off-site ones are separate solar-collecting facilities such as the company's energy farm projects in Illinois and Virginia.

When ranked only by on-site installations of solar energy, SEIA puts Apple in fourth position, behind Target, Walmart and Prologis. Apple doesn't even appear in the top 25 when ranked by the number of solar installations, which is dominated by retailers who have very many buildings across the country.

Apple has yet to comment on the report, but SEIA will be presenting the company with an award during a Solar Goes Corporate ceremony on November 7, 2019.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 34
    MacProMacPro Posts: 18,368member
    I wonder if Apple has any interest in going beyond supplying its own needs and becoming a power provider?
  • Reply 2 of 34
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 266member
    The question is how many coal fired plants are on hot standby in or outside state to even make this virtue signaling competition possible? 
    anantksundaram
  • Reply 3 of 34
    ElCapitan said:
    The question is how many coal fired plants are on hot standby in or outside state to even make this virtue signaling competition possible? 
    Better yet, how many compact, efficient, energy dense nuclear plants aren't being built to replace those coal fired plants because people think solar is awesome.

    If you want a laugh, google search "deaths per kilowatt hour" sometime.  Hint, nuclear is not even close to the most deadly.
    ElCapitanGG1pbruttoanantksundarammobirdjony0
  • Reply 4 of 34
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    ElCapitan said:
    The question is how many coal fired plants are on hot standby in or outside state to even make this virtue signaling competition possible? 
    Coal is dead. The actual alternative is natural gas. 
    minicoffee
  • Reply 5 of 34
    eumaeuseumaeus Posts: 9member
    Ah, Apple-haters...

    It is sweetly typical to hear the infrastructure investment necessary to generate 330MW as "virtue signalling." 

    And the tortured logic of… Apple generates a shit-ton of clean energy with solar >> BUT there might be some unknown number of coal plants that will fire up in the event that all those solar arrays all stop working >> BUT industry isn't building nuclear plants, BECAUSE those hypothetical coal plants are backing up Apple solar farms === Apple is TEH SUCXXOR!!!

    Y'all are cute. Never change!
    edited July 25 StrangeDays2770 LorcazoetmbpaisleydiscochiaAppleExposedminicoffeemontrosemacsjony0
  • Reply 6 of 34
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member

    MacPro said:
    I wonder if Apple has any interest in going beyond supplying its own needs and becoming a power provider?
    I guess anything is possible, but I think for this to make sense Apple would need to have some comparative advantage in some aspect of being a power provider. At a utility scale, I really can't see what that would be. Maybe in the residential solar installation market Apple might theoretically have some kind of advantage via HomeKit, but that's highly theoretical, in part because Apple seems to be fumbling the ball with HomeKit (a major bummer, given the huge privacy advantages that Apple has).

    If Apple were to someday buy Tesla, then I suppose that might be an entry into the solar residential market. Buying Tesla also isn't impossible, but I think Tesla stock would have to fall a lot farther before Apple would contemplate it. 
  • Reply 7 of 34
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 266member
    eumaeus said:
    Ah, Apple-haters...

    It has noting at all to do with Apple hating, but the false virtue signaling they also are on to in the area of "clean" energy.

    The UK, with a population comparable to CA, have made serious calculations of the effect on global climate if they replaced ALL (that is their entire) energy production by solar and wind. The effort, which would cost trillions of dollars, would have an effect of 0.01 deg C per century. In other words ZERO effect whatsoever. That offset the significant negative environmental impact on land use, noise pollution, access roads, visual degradation of the landscape, insects, birds and other wildlife.
    As a matter of fact, the production of batteries for undertaking such an enterprise would have multiple times the emission of CO2 compared to going on as they currently do, in addition to very significant environmental damage for strip mining rare earth metals needed for the batteries.

    So, yes, it is completely virtue signaling! 
    edited July 25 JWSC
  • Reply 8 of 34
    ciacia Posts: 83member
    This is great to see!  Hopefully they install more and more solar as the company grows to continue to be 100% renewable.  Let's hope other companies take notice and follow Apple, Target, and Walmarts lead.

    I installed solar several years ago, and in the next 4 years my savings will have covered the cost of my installation.  At that point I'll have about 20 years of useable free power.  Yea it was a large upfront cost, but I don't think "quarterly" like a company, I'm in this for the long haul.  It will pay off and everything after is gravy.
    beowulfschmidtmontrosemacspropod
  • Reply 9 of 34
    StrangeDaysStrangeDays Posts: 8,568member
    ElCapitan said:
    eumaeus said:
    Ah, Apple-haters...

    It has noting at all to do with Apple hating, but the false virtue signaling they also are on to in the area of "clean" energy.

    The UK, with a population comparable to CA, have made serious calculations of the effect on global climate if they replaced ALL (that is their entire) energy production by solar and wind. The effort, which would cost trillions of dollars, would have an effect of 0.01 deg C per century. In other words ZERO effect whatsoever. That offset the significant negative environmental impact on land use, noise pollution, access roads, visual degradation of the landscape, insects, birds and other wildlife.
    As a matter of fact, the production of batteries for undertaking such an enterprise would have multiple times the emission of CO2 compared to going on as they currently do, in addition to very significant environmental damage for strip mining rare earth metals needed for the batteries.

    So, yes, it is completely virtue signaling! 
    Can you link us to the study that drew those conclusions? 

    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not virtue signaling. Despite it not eliminating dirtier sources, it remains a reduction and shows there are alternatives to burning ancient dead dinosaurs. This will absolutely be required at some point if society is to continue to thrive so to say the effort is fruitless is hopelessly naive. We get better at things by doing things. We do not get better at things by not doing them. 
    edited July 25 paisleydiscochiaminicoffeemontrosemacsjony0
  • Reply 10 of 34
    ElCapitanElCapitan Posts: 266member
    ElCapitan said:
    eumaeus said:
    Ah, Apple-haters...

    It has noting at all to do with Apple hating, but the false virtue signaling they also are on to in the area of "clean" energy.

    The UK, with a population comparable to CA, have made serious calculations of the effect on global climate if they replaced ALL (that is their entire) energy production by solar and wind. The effort, which would cost trillions of dollars, would have an effect of 0.01 deg C per century. In other words ZERO effect whatsoever. That offset the significant negative environmental impact on land use, noise pollution, access roads, visual degradation of the landscape, insects, birds and other wildlife.
    As a matter of fact, the production of batteries for undertaking such an enterprise would have multiple times the emission of CO2 compared to going on as they currently do, in addition to very significant environmental damage for strip mining rare earth metals needed for the batteries.

    So, yes, it is completely virtue signaling! 
    Can you link us to the study that drew those conclusions? 

    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not virtue signaling. Despite it not eliminating dirtier sources, it remains a reduction and shows there are alternatives to burning ancient dead dinosaurs. This will absolutely be required at some point if society is to continue to thrive so to say the effort is a charade is hopelessly naive. 


    CO2 is not a greenhouse gas at all. It has a maximum effect on climate of 0.2 deg C and that effect was already exhausted in the 1920s. 

    CO2 currently accounts for 0.04% of the atmosphere, and the only effect it has - which is positive, is greening of the planet and higher agricultural production which have been crucial to fighting starvation. 

    If you want to learn something on the issue, check out a few of Steve Goddard's videos (known as Tony Heller on Youtube). This one is a good starting point:
  • Reply 11 of 34
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    ElCapitan said:
    ElCapitan said:
    eumaeus said:
    Ah, Apple-haters...

    It has noting at all to do with Apple hating, but the false virtue signaling they also are on to in the area of "clean" energy.

    The UK, with a population comparable to CA, have made serious calculations of the effect on global climate if they replaced ALL (that is their entire) energy production by solar and wind. The effort, which would cost trillions of dollars, would have an effect of 0.01 deg C per century. In other words ZERO effect whatsoever. That offset the significant negative environmental impact on land use, noise pollution, access roads, visual degradation of the landscape, insects, birds and other wildlife.
    As a matter of fact, the production of batteries for undertaking such an enterprise would have multiple times the emission of CO2 compared to going on as they currently do, in addition to very significant environmental damage for strip mining rare earth metals needed for the batteries.

    So, yes, it is completely virtue signaling! 
    Can you link us to the study that drew those conclusions? 

    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not virtue signaling. Despite it not eliminating dirtier sources, it remains a reduction and shows there are alternatives to burning ancient dead dinosaurs. This will absolutely be required at some point if society is to continue to thrive so to say the effort is a charade is hopelessly naive. 


    CO2 is not a greenhouse gas at all. It has a maximum effect on climate of 0.2 deg C and that effect was already exhausted in the 1920s. 

    CO2 currently accounts for 0.04% of the atmosphere, and the only effect it has - which is positive, is greening of the planet and higher agricultural production which have been crucial to fighting starvation. 

    If you want to learn something on the issue, check out a few of Steve Goddard's videos (known as Tony Heller on Youtube). This one is a good starting point:
    Here's a link from an equally credible source:

    https://www.theonion.com/report-average-american-must-have-life-ruined-by-natur-1836604584


    dsd
  • Reply 12 of 34
    zoetmbzoetmb Posts: 2,481member
    ElCapitan said:
    eumaeus said:
    Ah, Apple-haters...

    It has noting at all to do with Apple hating, but the false virtue signaling they also are on to in the area of "clean" energy.

    The UK, with a population comparable to CA, have made serious calculations of the effect on global climate if they replaced ALL (that is their entire) energy production by solar and wind. The effort, which would cost trillions of dollars, would have an effect of 0.01 deg C per century. In other words ZERO effect whatsoever. That offset the significant negative environmental impact on land use, noise pollution, access roads, visual degradation of the landscape, insects, birds and other wildlife.
    As a matter of fact, the production of batteries for undertaking such an enterprise would have multiple times the emission of CO2 compared to going on as they currently do, in addition to very significant environmental damage for strip mining rare earth metals needed for the batteries.

    So, yes, it is completely virtue signaling! 
    If one believes your stats.  But here's an alternative viewpoint:

    If solar energy were used in place of fossil fuels, carbon dioxide emissions could be reduced by up to 90 percent. Unlike fossil fuel, solar energy doesn’t release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and therefore, doesn’t contribute to the global temperature rise. Global temperatures could actually decline as more carbon dioxide may leave the atmosphere through plants and outer-space than was generated through energy consumption.

    Urban Heat Index

    The Urban Heat Index (UHI), or the heat island phenomenon, is the increased temperature in urban areas caused by human activities. Primarily, the UHI is caused by changes in land usage. The secondary cause of UHI is the generation of waste heat by electricity usage. The UHI effect can range anywhere from one to six degrees higher from neighboring rural areas in the daytime, and can hit 22 degrees higher during the night.

    Solar energy can reduce the effects of the UHI by blocking the amount of heat absorbed by a building and the other materials in urban landscapes. This can cause an increased need for additional energy consumption during the winter, but in turn, reduces the need for air conditioning in the summer. Global climates that experience mild winters and hotter summers may benefit the most from the installation of solar energy technologies.


    Soli
  • Reply 13 of 34
    SoliSoli Posts: 9,270member
    MacPro said:
    I wonder if Apple has any interest in going beyond supplying its own needs and becoming a power provider?
    1) They already do. They can't use all the power they create so their initial to get to 100% renewable energy is energy-based debits and credits from various locations around the world.


    2) If you mean become a US-based provider for solar panels like Tesla or directly selling power like SolarCity, I hope for the former since I think mass-produced solar shingles/tiles would benefit from Apple's production experience.
  • Reply 14 of 34
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    Soli said:
    MacPro said:
    I wonder if Apple has any interest in going beyond supplying its own needs and becoming a power provider?
    1) They already do. They can't use all the power they create so their initial to get to 100% renewable energy is energy-based debits and credits from various locations around the world.


    2) If you mean become a US-based provider for solar panels like Tesla or directly selling power like SolarCity, I hope for the former since I think mass-produced solar shingles/tiles would benefit from Apple's production experience.
    Do you mean Foxconn's production experience? Apple doesn't manufacture anything at scale. Apple's expertise is design, perhaps prototyping, and of course marketing (but I mean "marketing" in a good way). 
  • Reply 15 of 34
    Rayz2016Rayz2016 Posts: 4,764member
    MacPro said:
    I wonder if Apple has any interest in going beyond supplying its own needs and becoming a power provider?

    You mean like Apple Energy?
  • Reply 16 of 34
    blastdoorblastdoor Posts: 1,954member
    Rayz2016 said:
    MacPro said:
    I wonder if Apple has any interest in going beyond supplying its own needs and becoming a power provider?

    You mean like Apple Energy?
    Technically I guess that is a vehicle by which Apple could go beyond producing power to meet its own needs in a big way, but as for now, it really just seems to be a way for Apple to meet regulatory requirements and handle situations when the solar panels are generating more power than they need. 

    Good link, though. 
  • Reply 17 of 34
    JWSCJWSC Posts: 532member
    "Top companies are increasingly investing in clean, reliable solar energy because it makes economic sense," said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper in a statement.  “Corporate solar investments will become even more significant as businesses use solar to fight climate change, create jobs and boost local economies."

    This is a political statement.  The studies that claim solar is less costly than coal don’t take into account that traditional forms of energy production still have to be present during nighttime.  The oft repeated narrative that you can replace coal and gas fired plants with solar is a fiction.  And it will remain that way until new and giant batteries can be developed.

    Don’t get me wrong.  I have PV solar panels on my house and it saves me money.  I love it!  No doubt Apple saves money on its energy consumption.  But from an energy sector perspective the data doesn’t yet paint such a rosy picture.

  • Reply 18 of 34
    gatorguygatorguy Posts: 21,105member
    JWSC said:
    "Top companies are increasingly investing in clean, reliable solar energy because it makes economic sense," said SEIA president and CEO Abigail Ross Hopper in a statement.  “Corporate solar investments will become even more significant as businesses use solar to fight climate change, create jobs and boost local economies."

    This is a political statement.  The studies that claim solar is less costly than coal don’t take into account that traditional forms of energy production still have to be present during nighttime.  The oft repeated narrative that you can replace coal and gas fired plants with solar is a fiction.  And it will remain that way until new and giant batteries can be developed.

    Don’t get me wrong.  I have PV solar panels on my house and it saves me money.  I love it!  No doubt Apple saves money on its energy consumption.  But from an energy sector perspective the data doesn’t yet paint such a rosy picture.

    I looked into solar panels when I had my roof redone about two years ago. For me it did not make economic sense. It would have taken over 18 years to recoup the investment over the local power company based on projections. 

    EDIT: Just did another cost/benefits comparison...

    And it still makes no economic sense for me, even here in sunny Florida. Perhaps if I didn't have a canopy of trees and a multi-story home and thus a smaller roof surface, and didn't already have smart thermostats (multiple), propane, tankless water heaters, LED lighting and other energy savers. In fact I would still be $1000 out-of-pocket even after 20 years. 

    Before investing in a system yourself you'd be wise to check the situation for your specific home and don't just trust average figures from some salesman. This is a link to one of the best resources to help with making a smart choice. Some folks will see significant savings and others will not.
    https://www.google.com/get/sunroof
    edited July 25 JWSCAppleExposedavon b7muthuk_vanalingamjony0
  • Reply 19 of 34
    slurpyslurpy Posts: 5,179member
    ElCapitan said:
    ElCapitan said:
    eumaeus said:
    Ah, Apple-haters...

    It has noting at all to do with Apple hating, but the false virtue signaling they also are on to in the area of "clean" energy.

    The UK, with a population comparable to CA, have made serious calculations of the effect on global climate if they replaced ALL (that is their entire) energy production by solar and wind. The effort, which would cost trillions of dollars, would have an effect of 0.01 deg C per century. In other words ZERO effect whatsoever. That offset the significant negative environmental impact on land use, noise pollution, access roads, visual degradation of the landscape, insects, birds and other wildlife.
    As a matter of fact, the production of batteries for undertaking such an enterprise would have multiple times the emission of CO2 compared to going on as they currently do, in addition to very significant environmental damage for strip mining rare earth metals needed for the batteries.

    So, yes, it is completely virtue signaling! 
    Can you link us to the study that drew those conclusions? 

    Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is not virtue signaling. Despite it not eliminating dirtier sources, it remains a reduction and shows there are alternatives to burning ancient dead dinosaurs. This will absolutely be required at some point if society is to continue to thrive so to say the effort is a charade is hopelessly naive. 


    CO2 is not a greenhouse gas at all. It has a maximum effect on climate of 0.2 deg C and that effect was already exhausted in the 1920s. 

    CO2 currently accounts for 0.04% of the atmosphere, and the only effect it has - which is positive, is greening of the planet and higher agricultural production which have been crucial to fighting starvation. 

    If you want to learn something on the issue, check out a few of Steve Goddard's videos (known as Tony Heller on Youtube). This one is a good starting point:
    You're absolutely hilarious. And sad. He asked you for a clink to a credible study, as as predicted, since none exist, you link to some random Trump supporter blog titled The Deplorable Climate Science Blog, with constant posts about how 97% of climate scientists "have no integrity". I skimmed it, and it's obviously a complete trash rag, an agenda driven blog and noone with a shred of objectivity of sense would take seriously. Anyone who claims they're providing the "REAL" or "TRUE" stuff and everyone else is a fraud or a hack, is pretty much always the fraud. Yep, I'm sure this one dude is right, and the overwhelming majority of climate scientists are flat out wrong, because of some super convoluted conspiracy. I mean, how naive do you have to be to believe something like that?

    But I guess the fact that you follow it, and spread it as gospel, explains your previous posts on the matter. You must be fucking delusional to think that solar power is "virtue signalling". 
    edited July 25 montrosemacspropodmuthuk_vanalingamthtjony0
  • Reply 20 of 34
    maccadmaccad Posts: 85member
    El Capitan... "CO2 is not a greenhouse gas at all. It has a maximum effect on climate of 0.2 deg C and that effect was already exhausted in the 1920s. CO2 currently accounts for 0.04% of the atmosphere, and the only effect it has - which is positive, is greening of the planet and higher agricultural production which have been crucial to fighting starvation. If you want to learn something on the issue, check out a few of Steve Goddard's videos (known as Tony Heller on Youtube). This one is a good starting point:" I watched the video in which he conveniently left out the effect that the Dust Bowl had on temperatures in 1936. Tony Heller (that's his real name--Steve Goddard is a pen name) has a reputation as a distorter of data, and he has no qualifications as a climate scientist. Climate change deniers and flat earthers have a lot in common: neither can recognize reality when its right in front of them, and they are all nuts.
    montrosemacspropodmuthuk_vanalingambadmonkjony0
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