Apple has been hailing its solar power and fuel cells plants in North Carolina as an affirmation of its commitment to make use of clean energy resources. While that may impress many, a recent report by Greenpeace suggests that Apple’s cloud storage service, iCloud, relies heavily on power generated from coal, dubbing it ‘dirty energy.’
The report that Greenpeace issues is titled ‘How Clear Is Your Cloud.’ It essentially tries to find out how far does certain companies make use of clean energy sources to power up their cloud. Surprisingly, when it comes to Apple’s iCloud, Greenpeace has reported that it relies heavily on coal-based power, which is probably one of the least clean fuel sources currently in use.
However, if it is any compensation for Apple fans, Microsoft and Amazon are also stacked by Apple’s side as the companies who ‘rely heavily on dirty energy to power their clouds.’ In fact, this may be one of those rare moments when Apple doesn’t get to score a beaming A. Greenpeace rated Apple ‘D’ for transparency, ‘D’ for energy efficiency, ‘D’ for renewable energy investment and advocacy and a rather dismal ‘F’ for infrastructure citing.
According to the report, ‘Instead of playing catch up, Apple has the ingenuity, on-hand cash and innovative spirit to Think Different and make substantial improvements in the type of energy that powers its cloud.’ The report also goes to debunk the myth of Apple’s 20-megawatt solar array project and says that the power from this project will account for a mere 10 percent of the overall power consumption of the data center.
The critique heaped upon Apple is quite natural and justified. Apple is a company which is currently leading the tech world when it comes to innovations – and has a motto of thinking differently. It may as well have been a model for other companies to follow when it comes to the notion of power sources.
Plus, Apple also has all the resources in hand, will that huge pile of cash, to make things happen, as the report suggests ‘If Apple is really interested in having the ‘high percentage’ of renewable energy it claims to want for the iCloud, it will have to look beyond the initial steps for on-site generation and use its tremendous cash reserves to invest in or purchase renewable energy and also to put pressure on Duke Energy to provide cleaner energy.’
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