Proving the Business Case for the Internet of Things

Apple hits 100% renewable energy globally

Steve Rogerson
April 17, 2018

Apple has achieved its goal of its global facilities being 100 per cent powered by renewable energy. The computer company said this was part of its commitment to combat climate change and create a healthier environment.
This achievement includes retail stores, offices, data centres and co-located facilities in 43 countries, including the USA, UK, China and India. The company also announced nine additional manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100 per cent clean energy, bringing the total number of supplier commitments to 23.
“We’re committed to leaving the world better than we found it,” said Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO. “After years of hard work we’re proud to have reached this significant milestone. We’re going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it.”
Apple and its partners are building renewable energy projects around the world, improving the energy options for local communities, states and even entire countries. Apple creates or develops, with utilities, new regional renewable energy projects that would not otherwise exist. These projects represent a diverse range of energy sources, including solar arrays and wind farms as well as emerging technologies such as biogas fuel cells, micro-hydro generation systems and energy storage technologies.
Apple has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totalling 626MW of generation capacity, with 286MW of solar PV generation coming online in 2017, its most ever in one year. It also has 15 more projects in construction. Once built, over 1.4GW of clean renewable energy generation will be spread across 11 countries.
Since 2014, all Apple’s data centres have been powered by 100 per cent renewable energy. And since 2011, all Apple's renewable energy projects have reduced greenhouse gas emissions (CO2e) by 54 per cent from its facilities worldwide and prevented nearly 2.1 million metric tons of CO2e from entering the atmosphere.
Apple’s renewable energy projects include Apple Park, the company’s new headquarters in Cupertino, which is now the largest Leed Platinum-certified office building in North America. It is powered by 100 per cent renewable energy from multiple sources, including a 17MW onsite rooftop solar installation and 4MW of biogas fuel cells, and controlled by a microgrid with battery storage. It also gives clean energy back to the public grid during periods of low occupancy.
Apple recently announced plans to build a 37,000-square-metre data centre in Waukee, Iowa, that will run entirely on renewable energy from day one. In Prineville, Oregon, the company signed a 200MW power purchase agreement for an Oregon wind farm, the Montague Wind Power Project, set to come online by the end of 2019. And in Reno, Nevada, Apple created a partnership with the local utility, NV Energy, and over the last four years developed four new projects totalling 320MW of solar PV generation.
Over 485MW of wind and solar projects have been developed across six provinces of China to address upstream manufacturing emissions. In Japan, Apple is partnering with local solar company Daini Denryoku to install over 300 rooftop solar systems that will generate 18,000MW-hours of clean energy every year, enough to power more than 3,000 Japanese homes.
In Singapore, where land is scarce, Apple adapted and built its renewable energy on 800 rooftops.
Apple is constructing two data centres in Denmark that will run on 100 per cent renewable energy from day one. Apple’s data centre in Maiden, North Carolina, is supported by projects that generate 244 million kilowatt-hours of renewable energy per year, which is equivalent to the energy used by 17,906 North Carolina homes.
To get to 100 per cent renewable energy for its own facilities, the company worked to set an example, and 23 of its suppliers are now committed to operating on 100 per cent renewable energy, including nine new suppliers.
Altogether, clean energy from supplier projects helped avoid over 1.5 million metric tons of greenhouse gases from being emitted in 2017, the equivalent of taking more than 300,000 cars off the road. In addition, more than 85 suppliers have registered for Apple’s Clean Energy Portal, an online platform that Apple developed to help suppliers identify commercially viable renewable energy in regions around the world.
The nine new supplier commitments are:

  • Arkema, a designer of high-performance bio-based polymers, which manufactures for Apple at its facilities in France, USA and China.
  • DSM Engineering Plastics, which manufactures polymers and compounds in the Netherlands, Taiwan and China that are used in many Apple products, including connectors and cables.
  • Ecco Leather, the first soft goods supplier to commit to 100 per cent clean energy for its Apple production. The leather that Eco produces for Apple is of European origin, with tanning and cutting occurring at facilities in the Netherlands and China.
  • Finisar, a US producer of optical communication components and vertical-cavity surface-emitting lasers, which power features such as Face ID, portrait mode selfies and Animoji.
  • Luxshare-ICT, a supplier of accessories for Apple products. Luxshare-ICT’s production for Apple is predominantly located in eastern China.
  • Pegatron, which assembles a number of products, including the iPhone, at its two factories in Shanghai and Kunshan, China.
  • Quadrant, a supplier of magnets and magnetic components in a number of Apple’s products.
  • Quanta Computer, one of the first Mac suppliers to commit to 100 per cent renewable energy for Apple production.
  • Taiyo Ink, which produces solder masks for printed circuit boards in Japan.