Apple stands over commitment to on-site power

Computer manufacturer Apple NASDAQ:à‚ AAPL says 60 per cent of its electricity will eventually come from on-site power and criticized claims by Greenpeace that it’s HQ relies heavily on coal power generation.

Apple say its North Carolina data center is not mostly coal powered, as part of the environmental organization’s critical look at its data centers has claimed.

Apple is one of several blue chip companies given poor marks in a new Greenpeace report released on Tuesday called “How Clean Is Your Cloud,” which analyzed electricity consumption by data centers, while Facebook and Google NASDAQ:à‚ GOOG have been lauded for their commitment to renewable energy..

Amazon NASDAQ:à‚ AMZN and Microsoft NASDAQ:à‚ MSFT) however received low marks from Greenpeace, reports PC Advisor.

Microsoft is expanding its data center operations in Virginia, which is heavily reliant on coal and nuclear energy. The majority of servers for Amazon Web Services are in northern Virginia, where coal is mostly used, Greenpeace said.

Twitter received the lowest mark, an “F,” for failing to set goals for energy emissions and the same mark for not sharing information on its leased Sacramento data center site, Greenpeace said.

Greenpeace criticized Apple’s Maiden, North Carolina, facility, alleging that renewable energy sources such as fuel cells and solar arrays will only generate 10 per cent of its electricity needs, with the rest generated by coal.

Apple rejected that claim, saying 60 per cent of the power will be eventually delivered on-site from a solar farm and fuel cell installation “which will each be the largest in the country.”

“We believe this industry-leading project will make Maiden the greenest data center ever built,” it added.

According to Apple, Greenpeace also made an error when estimating the facility’s power consumption. At full capacity, the facility will draw about 20 MW of electricity, not the 100 MW that Greenpeace alleged.

In its report, Greenpeace charged that Apple is “finding itself behind other companies such as Facebook and Google” because of a lack of transparency and commitment to renewable energy.

Facebook received praise for its Swedish data center, powered entirely by renewable energy, and Google was rewarded for being more transparent about its energy use and committing to use renewable energy.

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