Apple invests in Ireland's ocean energy industry
Continuing its investment in renewable energy, technology giant Apple has agreed a new £1m R&D fund to support a wave energy project off the coast of Ireland.
Working with the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), Apple has this week announced a Memorandum of Understanding to promote the development of ocean energy at the Galway Bay Ocean Energy Test Site.
Any initiatives that receive funding through this initiative will be eligible to test their ocean energy prototypes at the state-of-the-art facility, which enables the testing of wave energy technologies at a quarter scale.
Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social incentives Lisa Jackson said: “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.
"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."
Welcoming the announcement, Ireland's minister for communication, energy and natural resources Alex White said: “The west coast of Ireland is recognised as having some of the best wave resources in the world and I warmly welcome this agreement between Apple and SEAI to help harness this renewable source of energy.
"This is an excellent achievement for Ireland and shows that when it comes to ocean energy development, Ireland is definitely open for business.”
An apple a day…
Apple has been a driving force for sustainability over the past 12 months as it looks to set a precedent for global corporations in the build up to Paris and beyond. In February this year, Apple chief executive Tim Cook announced that the company will commit $848m to clean energy in the form of a 280MW solar farm in California.
Apple also recently announced a $1.7bn plan to build two giant data centres in Europe, both powered by 100% renewable energy. The twin facilities in County Galway Ireland and central Denmark will power the European version of Apple's online services.
And last month, Apple also turned its renewables focus to China in an attempt to clean up its manufacturing supply chains. The firm plans to build more than 200MW of solar projects in China, aiming to produce enough energy to power the equivalent of 265,000 Chinese homes.
Apple’s continued growth and commitment in the renewable sector saw it named alongside Google, SABMiller and Unilever as one of the best-performing companies in promoting low-carbon outputs, in a new CDP report this month.