By: Jackie Wattles
Apple is producing more than 200 million electronic devices each year. And making all those iPhones, MacBooks and tablets takes an enormous amount of energy.
That’s why it’s a big deal when Apple (, Tech30) says it wants to be the greenest company on Earth.
The company launched a massive clean energy program in October 2015. The goal was to convert all of its energy use in China to clean power sources.
Apple clobbered past that goal and is now working toward 100% renewable energy worldwide.
“In 2016, 96 percent of the electricity used at our global facilities came from renewable energy, reducing our carbon emissions by nearly 585,000 metric tons. We’re 100 percent renewable in 24 countries — and all of Apple’s data centers,” Lisa Jackson, Apple Vice president of environment policy, said in an annual letter released earlier this year. Jackson served as the administrator for the Environmental Protection Agency from 2009 to 2013.
To go fully green, Apple has said it plans to “generate and source from more than 4 gigawatts of new clean energy worldwide by 2020,” according to a document released this month.
So far, Apple is less than a quarter of the way toward its 4 gig goal, the equivalent of the energy needed to power about 4 million homes. It currently has 485 megawatts of wind and solar projects installed across China.
The company also said last September that it’s committed to making sure all of the companies that supply parts to Apple follow its lead. Seven of Apple’s suppliers have already committed to going 100% renewable by 2018.
Not to mention Apple’s new corporate headquarters, Apple Park, will be powered solely by renewables. And to save trees, the company says 99% of the paper used in product packaging is from recycled materials.
Tom Murrary — the vice president of the Environmental Defense Fund’s EDF+Business initiative — praised Apple’s efforts. He says Apple has been a leading player in sustainable initiatives, and now more than 70 companies have followed suit by committing to use only renewable energy sources.
“For companies like Apple, usually 80 percent or more of the carbon footprint is in the supply chain. That’s why its critical that Apple is looking beyond its own operations and working with suppliers to become 100 percent renewable as well,” he said.
By: Steve Hanley
Rooftop solar is great, but it’s not ideal for every home or business. Sometimes the roof faces the wrong way or has the wrong slant. Sometimes the roof is just too small and the owner wants to add more solar panels to cover more electricity usage. Swedish Solar of Orlando, Florida, has a solution.
Inspired by the popular Bahama shutters, founder Olof Tenghoff and his team of engineers have created custom-fabricated aluminum and stainless steel frames that hold up to 4 solar panels. The frames are easily mounted to the outside of any building. Instead of spending money on typical Bahama shutters, homeowners can spend that cash (and probably a bit more) on shutters that generate electricity, saving money that would have gone to energy bills.
Whether Swedish Solar’s product genuinely ends up saving customers money is something each customer has to calculate (or try to calculate) for their own unique circumstances. Either way, though, this product offers an option for people who have maxed out their roof space or don’t want to put solar panels on their roof for some reason.
Swedish Solar’s awning-type installations can hold one to four of the company’s specialized PV panels, which come in two sizes. The installation hides all wiring and controls within the frame for a clean, uncluttered look (see above).
The Swedish Solar system has several additional advantages. The frames are motorized and can be controlled from a remote digital device like a smartphone. The angle can be adjusted to maximize solar power output or set to act as a passive solar device keeping unwanted sunlight and heat out of the interior of a building. When fully closed, the panels perform as storm barriers during inclement weather and protect the occupants from prying eyes — just as Bermuda shutters do.
Many homes in Florida and other sunny locations like Arizona, New Mexico, Texas, and southern California have Spanish tile roofs. Conventional solar panels often ruin the look of such roofs (well, that’s a subjective matter, but it’s a widely held opinion) and installing a solar panel system over the tiles may void the warranty. Swedish Solar systems are installed on the exterior walls of a building, giving homeowners with Spanish tile roofs the opportunity to take advantage of clean, renewable, solar power while beautifying the home.
Swedish Solar panels are unique — no other company offers a similar product at this time, according to the company. Full details are available on the Swedish Solar website. The company can also recommend an approved installer in your area. Be sure to watch the informative video above to learn more.
By: Greg Barbosa
In an interview with Bloomberg, Apple’s Lisa Jackson has announced that the company has achieved 96% worldwide renewable energy up from 2015’s 93%. Already having been at 100% renewable energy in the United States, three more of the company’s worldwide suppliers have pledged to follow suit.
In the interview, Jackson mentions that the company won’t stop until it hits 100% everywhere. Within the United States Apple is at 100% renewable energy usage, alongside 23 other countries. The current 96% of renewable energy sources includes Apple’s offices, data centers, stores, and distribution centers. The last few percentage points to reach 100% will come from the supply chain, companies Apple doesn’t explicitly own.
Biel Crystal Manufactory Ltd., Sunwoda Electronic Co., and Compal Electronics Inc. are the three new supply chain companies pledging to join Apple’s sustainability goals. With these additions Jackson states that, “We’re now at seven members of our supply chain who have committed to making their Apple operations renewable too.”
Apple states it will continue with its renewable energy plans that were pledged under President Obama’s administration. Although President Trump may have rolled back some of the EPA’s rules, Apple will continue forward. From Bloomberg’s previous reporting:
“We believe that strong clean energy and climate policies, like the Clean Power Plan, can make renewable energy supplies more robust and address the serious threat of climate change while also supporting American competitiveness, innovation, and job growth,” the companies said in a joint statement after Trump’s order was signed.
By: Anmar Frangoul
City buildings in Chicago are to be powered by 100 percent renewable energy by the year 2025, the city’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel has announced.
In a release over the weekend Emanuel – along with figureheads from Chicago Public Schools, Chicago Housing Authority, Chicago Park District and City Colleges of Chicago – said that when implemented, the commitment would make Chicago the “largest major city” in the U.S. to supply its public buildings with 100 percent renewable energy.
“By committing the energy used to power our public buildings to wind and solar energy, we are sending a clear signal that we remain committed to building a 21st century economy here in Chicago,” Emanuel, who previously served as White House Chief of Staff to President Barack Obama, said.
The Mayor’s Office said that the commitment would be met in a number of ways, including on site generation and the acquisition of renewable energy credits.
Jack Darin, president of the Illinois Sierra Club, welcomed the move. “By moving boldly to re-power its public buildings with renewable energy like wind and solar, Chicago is leading by example at a time when local leadership is more important than ever,” he said.
By: Jemima Owen-Jones
Air Liquide has inaugurated a new clean energy station in Servon, Ile-de-France, in partnership with Carrefour.
This station, designed and installed by Air Liquide, will provide fuel on bio natural gas for transport vehicles (bio-NGV).
The Servon station is the first of eight multi-clean energy stations that Air Liquide will roll out in France throughout 2017. They will join the six multi-energy stations that have already opened in France and in the UK.
Designed mainly for the transport of goods, these stations supply compressed and liquefied bio-NGV, as well as the Air Liquide’s liquid nitrogen (N2) solution blueeze™ for trucks equipped with a cryogenic refrigerating unit, instead of diesel. The station that just opened in Servon, like all of Air Liquide’s multi-energy stations, can fuel 80 trucks a day.
Through its biogas purification units in Europe, the group is present in the production of biomethane for natural gas networks and bio-NGV for transport fleets. Biomethane injected into the natural gas network can be used to supply stations that distribute bio-NGV. Bio-NGV is a form of clean and renewable energy that reduces CO2 emissions by 90% and noise by up to 50% compared with diesel fuel.
At this time, Air Liquide operates more than 60 bio-NGV stations in Europe, principally supplied by its biogas purification units in the UK, France, and Sweden.