Apple Committing €1 Million to Ocean Wave Energy Research in Ireland

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Continuing its recent moves to embrace renewable energy sources, Apple has agreed to fund a EUR1 million initiative through the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) to support research into harnessing wave energy.

Ocean Energy Test Site in Galway Bay, Ireland
"We're excited by the potential of ocean energy to someday serve as a source of clean power for the data centre we are building in Athenry, County Galway," said Lisa Jackson, Apple's vice president of Environment, Policy and Social Initiatives. "We are deeply committed to powering all our facilities with 100 percent renewable energy and believe investing in innovative projects will make reaching our goal easier."
The initiative funded by Apple will help fund researchers testing their wave harnessing technologies at the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site.

Wave energy is just one renewable energy source Apple has supported in an effort to become more environmentally friendly. Solar energy has been a major component of Apple's initiative, although the company has also embraced wind, biogas fuel cell, hydroelectric, and geothermal solutions to help power its data centers and other facilities as it seeks to move to 100% renewable energy for its own facilities and even help its suppliers make similar transitions.

Article Link: Apple Committing EUR1 Million to Ocean Wave Energy Research in Ireland
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2014
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And nothing mentioned about good ol' clean nuclear energy at all.... Again... Because that would make WAY too much sense -__-

You're exactly right. Wave energy, along with wind and solar, doesn't have the energy density to power our tech-heavy society. The current generation of small nuclear reactors does, and they're completely safe. From what I've read its impossible for them to melt down. The hotter the core gets, the larger the control elements get, so its nearly self-regulating. Every town could have cheap power coming from a dedicated reactor, without the incredibly high losses coming from power transmission over distance.

It'll never happen, because governments and emotion dominate power generation. Fukushima is held up as a warning, but that was an ancient design - GE, commissioned by US DOD, iirc. How about Chernobyl? Another relic, this time a Soviet bomb manufacturing plant converted to power generation without even basic safety considerations.
 
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2457282

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This'll never work. More alternative energy hippy nonsense.

Good quality, wholesome, all-American COAL is the way to meet our growing energy needs.
And nothing mentioned about good ol' clean nuclear energy at all.... Again... Because that would make WAY too much sense -__-

lol 'Murrica
Not sure if you all are trying to be funny but neither COAL nor Nuclear are renewable. In addition, both produce significant waste that affects the environment. If the idea is to use renewable and environmental solutions then there are only 4 options -- sun, earth, wind, and water. Coal and Oil technically fall under earth, but they do not meet the renewable or the environmental criteria. Nuclear is a man-made source that will destroy the planet (see chernobyl or japan).
 

GeneralChang

macrumors 68000
Dec 2, 2013
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You're exactly right. Wave energy, along with wind and solar, doesn't have the energy density to power our tech-heavy society. The current generation of small nuclear reactors does, and they're completely safe.
MOSTLY safe. There's still edge cases, but they're rather unlikely. But as in most things, diversification is probably wise. The more energy sources we have, the better.

And uh, as for the energy density of solar... our current technology might not be capable of harnessing all of it, but do you know how much energy is emitted by the sun every hour? If we could grab that with high efficiency, we'd be set for a very long time.
 
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Pbrutto

macrumors 6502a
Apr 21, 2015
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You're exactly right. Wave energy, along with wind and solar, doesn't have the energy density to power our tech-heavy society. The current generation of small nuclear reactors does, and they're completely safe. From what I've read its impossible for them to melt down. The hotter the core gets, the larger the control elements get, so its nearly self-regulating. Every town could have cheap power coming from a dedicated reactor, without the incredibly high losses coming from power transmission over distance.

It'll never happen, because governments and emotion dominate power generation. Fukushima is held up as a warning, but that was an ancient design - GE, commissioned by US DOD, iirc. How about Chernobyl? Another relic, this time a Soviet bomb manufacturing plant converted to power generation without even basic safety considerations.

Saw the designs of this small reactor years ago, a great idea.....I recall it having only a 15 ish year lifespan....bump that to 50 and stop the fearmongering and we are in business....this approach also eliminates lengthy transmission lines and makes the power system more secure.....couple that with localized solar and wind power and you have a very good energy ecosystem and one that can function at night, with no wind with full grid support or could even be used to store energy or transmit to places that cannot fit solar arrays or wind turbines
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2014
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And uh, as for the energy density of solar... our current technology might not be capable of harnessing all of it, but do you know how much energy is emitted by the sun every hour? If we could grab that with high efficiency, we'd be set for a very long time.
Efficiency is everything, which is why I made the side point about the transmission loss. Imagine what would happen if wire transmission approached one hundred percent efficiency, without converting to heat or any other kind of loss.

More to the point on efficiency, and kind of where I see you were going with this - do the math on the energy that could be released from a kilo of coal if it were possible to convert it entirely to energy, rather than burning it to heat water into steam and then using that to spin turbines. Try 25 billion kwh. Without getting into the technical side of why is can't be more than theoretically possible, the thought exercise should help people to see why efficiency should be considered above just about everything else that falls outside the "it kills things" category.
 

0007776

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Nuclear is a man-made source that will destroy the planet (see chernobyl or japan).
Those were older designs, it is possible to have safe nuclear power with modern technology. And the waste can be reprocessed and used again as fuel. Nuclear isn't the only answer as it still isn't a renewable resource, but until other clean sources become viable for all our energy needs it is a good option to reduce our CO2 emissions now.
 

Sheza

macrumors 68000
Aug 14, 2010
1,840
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Peanuts. Absolute peanuts. If they'd promised €100m then this would be a headline barely worth talking about. Apple makes this kind of money every minute or something and the research needs much more than €1m.

I like Apple, I really do. But this move just serves to arm them for their trial regarding Irish tax agreements. This and the creation of 1000 jobs in Ireland is a convenient ruse to arm them for the trial while scoring environmental points and also making their necessary Irish job creations that they would have made at some point anyway due to growth.
 

Benjamin Frost

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May 9, 2015
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You're exactly right. Wave energy, along with wind and solar, doesn't have the energy density to power our tech-heavy society. The current generation of small nuclear reactors does, and they're completely safe. From what I've read its impossible for them to melt down. The hotter the core gets, the larger the control elements get, so its nearly self-regulating. Every town could have cheap power coming from a dedicated reactor, without the incredibly high losses coming from power transmission over distance.

It'll never happen, because governments and emotion dominate power generation. Fukushima is held up as a warning, but that was an ancient design - GE, commissioned by US DOD, iirc. How about Chernobyl? Another relic, this time a Soviet bomb manufacturing plant converted to power generation without even basic safety considerations.
What happens when a nuclear reactor gets bombed, terrorists infiltrate one, or the water supply gets cut off?

We pray, I guess.
 

GeneralChang

macrumors 68000
Dec 2, 2013
1,546
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Efficiency is everything, which is why I made the side point about the transmission loss. Imagine what would happen if wire transmission approached one hundred percent efficiency, without converting to heat or any other kind of loss.

More to the point on efficiency, and kind of where I see you were going with this - do the math on the energy that could be released from a kilo of coal if it were possible to convert it entirely to energy, rather than burning it to heat water into steam and then using that to spin turbines. Try 25 billion kwh. Without getting into the technical side of why is can't be more than theoretically possible, the thought exercise should help people to see why efficiency should be considered above just about everything else that falls outside the "it kills things" category.
But that's my point. Solar is a fantastic source of energy if we put in the development to figure out how to effectively harness it. So really we should be moving toward nuclear as a short term solution toward eventually powering everything via the sun.

Totally with you on nuclear being the most useful option we have right now, though.
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2014
729
491
1 - Apple hiring 1,000 in Cork.
2 - Apple funding wave energy in Ireland.
3 - Apple sucking up big time in Ireland to avoid big tax bill.

They need to do whatever they can to protect that cash from the politicians. In this case, the things they are doing have benefits both small and great to not just the local people but to the region. If they advance the development of wave technology, so much the better for all of us.

A couple of focused companies with a strong profit motive can do more to help than all the governments in the world, on so many levels.
 

0007776

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What happens when a nuclear reactor gets bombed, terrorists infiltrate one, or the water supply gets cut off?

We pray, I guess.
What happens when an asteroid falls from space and hits it? You can come up with all sorts of hypothetical situations, but in the end none of them are likely to happen outside of a movie.
 

2457282

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Those were older designs, it is possible to have safe nuclear power with modern technology. And the waste can be reprocessed and used again as fuel. Nuclear isn't the only answer as it still isn't a renewable resource, but until other clean sources become viable for all our energy needs it is a good option to reduce our CO2 emissions now.
From WikiPedia -
Reprocessing can potentially recover up to 95% of the remaining uranium and plutonium in spent nuclear fuel, putting it into new mixed oxide fuel. This produces a reduction in long term radioactivity within the remaining waste, since this is largely short-lived fission products, and reduces its volume by over 90%. Reprocessing of civilian fuel from power reactors is currently done in Britain, France and (formerly) Russia, soon will be done in China and perhaps India, and is being done on an expanding scale in Japan. The full potential of reprocessing has not been achieved because it requires breeder reactors, which are not commercially available. France is generally cited as the most successful reprocessor, but it presently only recycles 28% (by mass) of the yearly fuel use, 7% within France and another 21% in Russia.[156]

Reprocessing is not allowed in the U.S.[157] The Obama administration has disallowed reprocessing of nuclear waste, citing nuclear proliferation concerns.[158] In the U.S., spent nuclear fuel is currently all treated as waste.[159]
I would say that if the reprocessing is allowed and fully implemented then this would be viable until the renewables become more economically viable. However we are far from reprocessing.
 

Sill

macrumors 6502a
Nov 14, 2014
729
491
What happens when a nuclear reactor gets bombed, terrorists infiltrate one, or the water supply gets cut off?

We pray, I guess.
Generally, I pray about things like that no matter what the target could potentially be. Quite simply, I don't like it when people are hurt. Specific to your question though, if you look at the design principles of this reactor, your concerns might be greatly reduced. Water deficiency results in control element engorgement, which separates the fuel past the point where a reaction occurs. There's little for terrorists to do besides eliminate enough of the control elements physically to cause a chain reaction, but that would probably damage the terrorist physically long before they accomplished their goals. The other concern - bombing - I can't really speak to. I think bombing, any least the homegrown brand most people would ca;; an IED now just wouldn't make it past the reinforcing structures of this type of reactor. Anything larger, with a higher yield, would point to a more organized group or even a state, and those kind of resources would do great damage no matter what the target would be.

You should also consider that we have a few hydro dams in America that would be just as good a target if not better, and those have never been threatened. Also, the current reactors here are very old, built from outdated designs, and would present a much richer target than any of the new style reactors.
 
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