Apple and Google expand renewable energy use
Technology giants Apple and Google have both announced investments in renewable energy projects, focusing largely on wind energy.
Yesterday, Google made an approximate $200m (£125m) equity investment in the Spinning Spur Wind Project, a 161 megawatt facility located in Oldham County, Texas and built by EDF Renewable Energy.
Senior manager of Google Corporate Finance, Kojo Ako-Asare, said: “We’re proud to be part of a project that provides the Lone Star state with a new source of low-cost, renewable energy and supports the state’s thriving wind industry,”.
“This investment reflects Google’s ongoing commitment to clean energy and our belief that corporations can be an important new source of capital for this sector,” he added.
Construction of the Spinning Spur wind energy project commenced in February and achieved commercial operation in late December 2012.
Meanwhile, Apple put forward plans to develop a wind turbine that converts rotational energy into heat, which is then used to generate electricity.
According to the application filed to the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, what is needed is a mechanism for “mitigating variability and/or intermittency associated with the production of electricity from wind energy”.
Apple is also looking into its manufacturing side, as this is where the company produces its biggest environmental impact.
“Manufacturing – including extraction of raw materials and product assembly – accounts for 61% of Apple’s total greenhouse gas emissions,” it says.
The company states on its website: “Currently, the needs of our facilities in Austin, Texas; Sacramento, California; Munich, Germany; and Cork, Ireland, are 100% met by renewable energy — eliminating 30,000 metric tons of CO2e emissions”.
Likewise, Google continues to increase its use of renewable energy and highlights its focus on expanding new clean projects.
“We’re currently using renewable energy to power over 30% of our operations, and we continue to look for ways to increase our use of clean energy. This includes trying new, innovative technology at our offices and buying green power near our data centres,” the Google website pronounces.
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