Greenpeace and Apple clash over report on cloud computing

Greenpeace and Apple clash over report on cloud computing

April 19, 2012 0 By Bret Williams

Apple releases information to counter Greenpeace campaign, showing iCloud data center’s use of alternative energy systems.

Greenpeace recently launched a campaign to “clean up the dirtiest things on the Internet,” targeting companies Apple, Amazon and Microsoft. The campaign decries the companies’ use of data centers that are powered by coal. These data centers, which are located throughout the country, are energy intensive systems and are responsible for handling the majority of each company’s online operations. Greenpeace has released a report rating each company based on its energy consumption and environmentally friendly practices. In this report, Apple was given failing grades, a fact that seems to have struck a nerve with the technology giant.

Apple, technology giant, fires back…

Apple has, for the first time, disclosed energy consumption information regarding its new cloud computing data centers. The iCloud data center, which powers Apple’s cloud-based operations, has come under fire from Greenpeace for being a burden on the environment. Apple’s information indicates that the data center is the most eco-friendly facility ever built for its prescribed purpose. Apple claims that the center will derive approximately 60% of its electricity from renewable sources.

The data center is located in Maiden, North Carolina. It has been getting a great deal of attention in the alternative energy and technology communities because of its use of solar energy and hydrogen fuel cells. Apple has opted to use these two energies in tandem because it believes the two complement each other well and will eventually make the data center energy sustainable. Currently, the data center draws 20% of its electricity from fuel cells and solar power when operating at full capacity. Within the next few years, this is likely to increase as Apple incorporates more advanced energy systems.

Other technology companies and energy saving practices…

Amazon, another company targeted by Greenpeace’s recent campaign, claims that the organization is misrepresenting information available from many companies. The company claims that cloud computing is much more environmentally friendly than more traditional forms of computing and that companies investing in cloud technology are also investing in alternative energy technology. Greenpeace’s report has won support from Google, however, who has long been an advocate for more environmentally sound business practices and the use of alternative energy over fossil-fuels like coal.

Article: Greenpeace and Apple clash over report on cloud computing
Article Source: Hydrogen Fuel News
Author: Bret Williams

Greenpeace and Apple clash over report on cloud computing