Today, Apple announced that it will invest in the construction of two of the world’s largest onshore wind turbines, a source of clean, renewable energy that will bring the supply chain and products one step closer to carbon neutrality. Located near the Danish city of Esbjerg, the 200-meter-high turbines are expected to produce 62 gigawatt hours each year – enough to power almost 20,000 homes – and will serve as a test site for powerful offshore wind turbines. The power produced at Esbjerg will support Apple’s data center in Viborg, with all the surplus energy going into the Danish grid.
Last month, Apple announced its plans to become carbon neutral throughout the business, supply chain production and product life cycle by 2030. Although Apple’s business is already powered by 100 percent renewable energy and carbon neutral, this new commitment will mean that by 2030, everyone will Apple devices for sale have a net zero climate impact. This includes transferring all its European based suppliers to renewable energy.
The supplier’s clean energy progress
The German-based supplier Varta committed this week to running its Apple production with 100 percent renewable power. Across Europe, Apple’s suppliers are working towards clean energy solutions for their Apple productions – including Henkel and tesa SE, also based in Germany, DSM Engineering Materials based in the Netherlands, STMicroelectronics based in Switzerland and Solvay based in Belgium. These solutions include DSM’s purchase agreement for wind power in the Netherlands and STMicroelectronics’ solar carport in Morocco. Companies such as Solvay are now expanding the use of renewable energy to their broader businesses after joining Apple’s supplier program for clean energy five years ago.
Apple launched the program in October 2015 to help suppliers reduce energy consumption and the transition to 100 percent renewable electricity. Since its launch, 72 manufacturing partners in 17 different countries have committed to 100 percent renewable energy for Apple production. When all of Apple’s supplier projects are completed, these commitments will avoid over 14.3 million tonnes of CO2e annually – equivalent to taking more than 3 million cars off the road each year.
Viborg data center
Apple’s data center in Viborg, a 45,000 square meter facility that offers network support and data storage to users across the region, is now operational. The data center helps power Apple’s App Store, Apple Music, iMessage, Siri and other services in Europe powered entirely by renewable energy from local projects.
Esbjerg wind project follows the latest completion of one of Scandinavia’s largest solar panels, located in Thisted, North Jutland, the first Danish solar project to be built without the use of public subsidies. The wind and solar projects both support Apple’s recently completed data center in Viborg, which is powered by 100 percent renewable energy. Apple is developing both projects in collaboration with European Energy.
Viborg data center had over 600 specialist workers on site every day during construction, and included many Danish companies that supported the development. It is now run by a team of computer specialists, technicians, maintenance and security personnel, many of whom were recruited from the local area.
Source: Apple Inc.