Apple Leads All U.S. Companies in Domestic Solar Energy Capacity

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Apple had more installed solar energy capacity in the United States than any other company as of the end of 2018, according to a new report released by the Solar Energy Industries Association (via CNBC).


Apple led the way with 393.3 megawatts of installed solar energy capacity, topping Amazon and Target at 329.8 megawatts and 242.4 megawatts respectively. Google trailed in sixth with 142.9 megawatts. The rankings are based on both on-site and off-site solar installations in the United States.

Last year, Apple announced that all of its global facilities, including retail stores, offices, and data centers, are now powered with 100 percent renewable energy. Apple Park, for example, is powered by a 17-megawatt rooftop solar installation, four megawatts of biogas fuel cells, and other clean sources.

"We're going to keep pushing the boundaries of what is possible with the materials in our products, the way we recycle them, our facilities and our work with suppliers to establish new creative and forward-looking sources of renewable energy because we know the future depends on it," said Apple CEO Tim Cook.

Article Link: Apple Leads All U.S. Companies in Domestic Solar Energy Capacity
 
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Porco

macrumors 68040
Mar 28, 2005
3,029
5,636
I applaud the positive stuff Apple does, but being the best at being least-bad still has a lot of room for improvement.

I like what Tim says, but if he means it then we need fewer glued-in batteries and a move away from proprietary/soldered-in/inaccessible storage/memory please, and longer support (even if only security updates) for older devices so that people feel less pressure to upgrade as quickly. That is called putting your money where your mouth is, and er, Apple have enough money to fill all their mouths (or something!).
 

keysofanxiety

macrumors G3
Nov 23, 2011
9,467
24,215
Solar and wind energy generation is expensive to set up and takes quite a few years to pay back. If a particular company has the most spare cash then it should be no surprise that they can afford to have the highest number of solar panels.
Spot on. Little known fact: Apple is the only company in the world with any disposable income that could be put towards renewable energy.
 

Mac-lover3

macrumors 6502a
Dec 2, 2014
546
380
Belgium
I applaud the positive stuff Apple does, but being the best at being least-bad still has a lot of room for improvement.

I like what Tim says, but if he means it then we need fewer glued-in batteries and a move away from proprietary/soldered-in/inaccessible storage/memory please, and longer support (even if only security updates) for older devices so that people feel less pressure to upgrade as quickly. That is called putting your money where your mouth is, and er, Apple have enough money to fill all their mouths (or something!).
Longer support really? We still got updates for an iPhone 4S this week? You still want support for your iPhone 3GS or something??
 

OneBagTravel

macrumors 6502a
Oct 18, 2013
548
726
USA
Anyone in the business of solar panels here? I'd love to know what the maintenance is for a high volume company like Apple. I imagine they have an on site staff just for when things break.
 

lederermc

macrumors 6502a
Sep 30, 2014
533
469
Seattle
I applaud the positive stuff Apple does, but being the best at being least-bad still has a lot of room for improvement.

I like what Tim says, but if he means it then we need fewer glued-in batteries and a move away from proprietary/soldered-in/inaccessible storage/memory please, and longer support (even if only security updates) for older devices so that people feel less pressure to upgrade as quickly. That is called putting your money where your mouth is, and er, Apple have enough money to fill all their mouths (or something!).
Apple's only competition for iPhone sales is Apple itself. (It is a major PITA to switch). Upgradability interferes with new sales.
 

needsomecoffee

macrumors regular
May 6, 2008
154
330
Seattle
I like what Tim says, but if he means it then we need fewer glued-in batteries and a move away from proprietary/soldered-in/inaccessible storage/memory please, and longer support (even if only security updates) for older devices so that people feel less pressure to upgrade as quickly. That is called putting your money where your mouth is, and er, Apple have enough money to fill all their mouths (or something!).
This. As China begins to deal with the environmental affects of rare earth mining, we start to understand the affect Apple had leading the phone industry to non-replaceable components -- driving a nearly complete "disposable electronics culture". They had the market position, and resources to have developed two lines: the current (BMW line), and "long-lived" (Prius line). Obviously avoiding the latter was great for shareholders as these environmental costs are externalized and sales volumes maxed out. Overall Apple's PR campaign as "the greenest" company for things like its solar use appears so hypocritical to me given the highly destructive design history. Also related is their very sad policy that all Apple products must be shredded by third-party recyclers. Anything to boost sales -- "but, but we use solar..."
 

needsomecoffee

macrumors regular
May 6, 2008
154
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Seattle
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ApfelKuchen

macrumors 68040
Aug 28, 2012
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Between the coasts
What's scary to me is that massive-looking solar installation at Apple Park is just 4.3% of Apple's installed capacity.

Basically, all of these top-ranked companies aren't just slapping a few panels onto the roofs of their facilities. They clearly don't have that much rooftop. They're directly financing the construction of huge solar farms by electric utilities/solar farm operators and/or writing long-term supply contracts with those companies so the operators can get construction financing.
 

brueck

macrumors regular
Jun 15, 2010
135
44
I know this sounds good. But have you ever calculated the land required per MW?
Not to mention what it takes to manufacture the Panels.
Yes, as have all the top environmental scientists in the world. Have you? We can generate 40% of our electricity needs simply by filling empty roof tops. That’s at current system efficiencies.

Have you ever looked into what it takes to manufacture oil and gas?
 

Achiever

macrumors 6502
Jan 23, 2008
476
107
While Apple is indisputably trying to do the "right" thing long term, I do wonder why more companies don't give more thought to putting their weight behind building nuclear plants, which are clean, renewable, safe and take up a LOT less ground space than solar panels for the equivalent energy output, making it much more scalable and efficient to larger communities and the world as a whole. I want to believe these considerations are taken into account, but hard to understand the short sightedness of it all. Solar and wind just seem so much more trendy and less practical, at least with currently available tech and limitations.
 
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cjboffoli97

macrumors member
Oct 4, 2005
56
84
Seattle, WA
Solar and wind energy generation is expensive to set up and takes quite a few years to pay back. If a particular company has the most spare cash then it should be no surprise that they can afford to have the highest number of solar panels.

Fossil fuel and nuclear electric plants also are expensive to set up and require many years for taxpayers or rate payers to pay off the many billions of dollars in bonds. And that doesn't even scratch the surface of the costs to source the fuel (including spending trillions on foreign wars) and the inherent costs to the environment and to human health. Solar and wind looks pretty good to me when you consider the entire value proposition, as opposed to looking at it selectively. I applaud Apple and other tech companies for the investment in this space.