US technology giant, Apple, has formed a new renewable energy company called ‘Apple Energy to sell’ with surplus solar power generated by its California and Nevada farms across the United States.
Presently, the company generates or buys enough renewable power to supply electricity to 100 per cent of its US facilities and 93 per cent of its worldwide facilities, according to a court brief filed in April in support of the President Obama’s Clean Power Plan.
If Apple gets the necessary authorisations, it could become a power retailer and start selling power directly to end-users by August.
An added advantage is that the new energy company could also help the company with its electric car project, as reports indicate that the company is looking into charging station technology.
Apple has also signed a lease agreement with North Carolina’s Catawba County to build a waste-to-energy facility that will generate electricity from treated landfill methane gas tanks to fuel cells.
Victor Oh, of Lux Research which provides market intelligence on emerging technologies, said: “Apple’s plans to build a waste-to-energy facility are not actually that surprising… This is a trend that we’ve seen coming since the build-up to and follow-ups after the 21st Conference of Parties (COP21) in Paris late last year. While governments have made commitments to reduce CO2 emissions at the country-wide level, industry leaders have also made investments in renewable energy under their own company initiatives.”
Due to its take-back initiatives and other recycling programmes, Apple recovered 2,204 pounds of gold from recycled electronic devices in 2015, worth about $43.6 million.
The Breakthrough Energy Coalition, founded by Bill Gates, Mark Zuckerburg and a group of elite investors after COP21, is a notable example of companies investing in renewable energy, and targets investment in early stage cleantech firms to accelerate their development.
Apple is also campaigning for more rigorous environmental standards and increased renewable energy production across its supply chain with suppliers in 2015 diverting more than 73,000 metric tonnes of waste from landfills, and saving more than 3.8 billion gallons of freshwater.