Greenpeace Under Fire Again After Regrading of Apple's Data Center Energy Plans

Discussion in ' News Discussion' started by MacRumors, Jul 13, 2012.

  1. MacRumors macrumors bot


    Apr 12, 2001

    Earlier this year, environmental activist group Greenpeace made waves with a report taking Apple and other companies to task for not doing enough to eliminate the use of dirty coal-sourced power at their data centers. Apple quickly responded at the time to note that Greenpeace had greatly overestimated the power needs of the company's flagship data center in Maiden, North Carolina, thereby understating the impact of Apple's solar and fuel cell power generation occurring at the site.

    In that statement, Apple refuted Greenpeace's estimate of peak power demand of 100 megawatts for the data center, revealing that power demand would actually peak at 20 megawatts. And a month later, Apple published additional details on its efforts to run all of its data centers on 100% green energy.

    Greenpeace announced yesterday that it has prepared an updated report on Apple's energy usage based on the new information, but as noted by Data Center Knowledge's Rich Miller, the group still seems to be being overly critical in its grading of Apple, even continuing to make up its own estimates of the North Carolina data center's energy usage rather than believing Apple's public statements.
    Miller goes on to note that Apple has clearly disclosed in regulatory documents that it intends to install backup generators capable of producing 41 megawatts of electricity in an "N+2" configuration that keeps at least two generators as spares, meaning that Apple is only planning for peak demand of 35-36 megawatts at an absolute maximum.


    Miller points to two possible reasons for Greenpeace's continued refusal to acknowledge Apple's statements and other official documents addressing the data center's power needs:
    For its part, Apple has continued to stand by its earlier comments, issuing a statement to Forbes:
    Greenpeace's revised report gives Apple no additional credit for transparency, despite the company having explicitly revealed the power requirements of the data center, and the group's insistence on sticking with an 81-megawatt estimate of peak power capacity brings Apple's usage of renewable energy at the site down to just 22% as opposed to the 60% figure explicitly stated by Apple.

    Greenpeace is also reluctant to give Apple credit for its fuel cell installation, waiting to hear whether Apple will actually be using biogas to directly power the cells or if it will be using natural gas and instead purchasing biogas to be inserted elsewhere in the distribution system to offset the company's natural gas usage. But given that Apple's biogas commitment would have the same net effect on overall natural gas consumption regardless of where exactly in the distribution system it is used, it seems that Apple should be pursuing the most cost-effective strategy for deploying that biogas.

    Article Link: Greenpeace Under Fire Again After Regrading of Apple's Data Center Energy Plans
  2. Skika, Jul 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2012

    Skika macrumors 68030

    Mar 11, 2009
    Greenpeace just wants attention and publicity.
  3. sbrhwkp3 macrumors 6502a


    Jul 17, 2005
    Lake George, NY
    So Greenpeace environmental experts know how much power data centers consume?

    This is funny. In reality, the number probably lies somewhere in the middle, closer to Apple's side.

    Environmental crazies will always overstate in an effort to hang onto an extra bargaining chip when they're pushing for even more environmentally friendly systems.
  4. marc7654 macrumors newbie

    Jul 2, 2007
    Will never be happy

    Greenpeace won't be happy until people stop using electricity. They are just a bunch of luddites.
  5. bocomo macrumors 6502

    Jun 29, 2007
    New York
    Those nutjobs lose credibility with junk like this
  6. Dainin macrumors regular

    Sep 4, 2009
    Greenpeace again proves that it is completely worthless. Nothing but attention whores.
  7. Kabeyun macrumors 68020


    Mar 27, 2004
    Eastern USA
    Greenpeace has been working hard for years to make themselves irrelevant.
  8. Peace, Jul 13, 2012
    Last edited by a moderator: Jul 13, 2012

    Peace macrumors Core


    Apr 1, 2005
    Space--The ONLY Frontier
    I agree. I used to like greenpeace but they've become nothing but publicity hounds while disregarding the truth.
  9. crees! macrumors 68000


    Jun 14, 2003

    They, among countless others, have made Green the new Red.
  10. eelkefolmer macrumors newbie

    Jun 27, 2012
    It's all cool. Apple's new data center in Reno will be 100% geothermal powered with no problems with peak demand as geothermal provides constant output. Green peace is good though for pointing out these energy demands
  11. Codyak macrumors 6502


    Apr 6, 2012
    Somehow I see Eric Cartman fitting into this...
  12. JohnDoe98 macrumors 68020

    May 1, 2009
    Talk about being bad at math. The picture says 14.2 0f 20 is only 60%... (yaya, fine print:))
  13. DMVillain macrumors 6502a

    Jul 20, 2011
  14. burjeffton macrumors newbie

    Oct 18, 2011
    I'm positive these dirty hippies' reports weren't created using evil power-hungry computers.

  15. bse3 macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2011
    Greenpeace has a waay different agenda. And this clearly shows it again. They are anti-globalization, not pro-planet. Gotta hate those hippies.
  16. longofest Editor emeritus


    Jul 10, 2003
    Falls Church, VA
    Greenpeace's early efforts it seems got the ball rolling on getting Apple to be more transparent on its "greenness", but these efforts are just stupid.

    To be clear, I do understand wanting to come up with your own numbers and not trusting what a company says its power utilization is going to be, but they should be much closer to the numbers provided by the backup generator capacity, as that number should be somewhat accurate.

    Greenpeace making themselves in this way just hurts the overall environmental effort, which if anything needs to be re-energized a bit in light of Apple's withdrawl from EPEAT.
  17. Foxer macrumors 65816


    Feb 22, 2003
    Washington, DC
    Greenpeace, masters of PR, have learned what so many other media whores have learned: Criticize Apple and you will get headlines.
  18. IJ Reilly macrumors P6

    IJ Reilly

    Jul 16, 2002
    So we are expected to believe either (A) a group of rabid activists, or (B) a huge corporation. Can we have another choice, please?
  19. peb123 macrumors member

    Feb 14, 2010
    I'd love to see a green report done on Greenpeace. I'm willing to bet they are hypocrites.
  20. HelveticaRoman macrumors 6502

    Jun 28, 2011
    Even the Dalai Lama would be shot down in flames if he ever suggested Apple was anything less than perfection on earth. There seems to be more than a little evidence of a cultish element at work here.
  21. ikramerica macrumors 6502

    Apr 10, 2009
    Right. Greenpeace = Lama? Fail.

    Anyway, Greenpeace is basically arguing that Apple has installed backup generators under 50% of the size they would actually need.

    Do you think Apple is that stupid?

    Or does Greenpeace have an agenda and doesn't want to be shown to be making stuff up?

    I'll leave that for you to decide. You are obviously unbiased.
  22. henryhbk macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2002
    Assuming apple isn't staffed by a group of idiots, they wouldn't have more usage than their generators could support. Otherwise they wouldn't make very good backup. So to be consistent at least GP could use the 41MW figure to appear less out of touch.
  23. blumpkin macrumors regular

    Jun 12, 2011
    Greenpeace will be pleased to learn that my V-16 Maybach runs on liquified poor people.
  24. kevinbomb123 macrumors member

    Dec 2, 2011
    Coal?, coal is to clean and expensive it would be best
    If they burn garbage and plastics.
  25. aaarrrgggh macrumors regular

    Jul 1, 2007
    N+2 or 2N Diesels

    20MW for a 500kSF facility is a bit on the low side, even if only half the area is raised floor. Also, the diesels are not likely to be N+2 given the total installed capacity-- it looks like they have (22) prime-rated 1.875MW engines. That would fit better as a 2N arrangement. I guess it is possible they are using a catcher arrangement, but that is a bit of an odd-ball for a company like Apple.

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