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Greenpeace: Apple’s iCloud Relies Heavily on Dirty Energy

Greenpeace: Apple’s iCloud Relies Heavily on Dirty Energy

A report from Greenpeace says Apple lags behind other technology companies, such as Facebook and Google, when it comes to utilizing environmentally friendly power for its cloud-based services.


The new report issued on Tuesday, entitled “How Clean is Your Cloud?,” pans Apple’s iCloud service for relying largely on coal-based power. Apple was lumped in with Amazon and Microsoft as companies that Greenpeace claims “rely heavily on dirty energy to power their clouds.”

“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 reads.

Apple was ranked poorly in the four categories the companies were graded on, getting a ‘D’ for transparency, ‘F’ for infrastructure siting, ‘D’ for energy efficiency and GHG mitigation, and ‘D’ for renewable energy investment and advocacy.

Greenpeace also dismissed Apple’s highly-touted 20-megawatt solar array that is set to help power its server farm in North Carolina. They said Apple’s array will only account for 10 percent of the power needed for the data center.

“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,” the report reads.

Duke Energy, the major utility company in the area of North Carolina where Apple’s data center is located, has been criticized in the past by Greenpeace for its reliance on “dirty coal plants” to generate power.