Silicon Valley’s big tech companies are hopping on the clean power bandwagon — last week, Google said that it has purchased enough renewable energy to match the electricity they consumed in 2017, and now Apple has announced that its global facilities “are powered with 100 percent clean energy.”
Apple’s offices, data centers, and retail stores are all 100 percent powered by renewables, according to the company. They also said nine of their manufacturing partners committed to power their Apple production entirely with clean energy, bringing the tally of supplier commitments up to 23.
The Verge pointed out this doesn’t mean every electron or joule originally stems from wind, solar, or other clean energy plants. Some global operations are located in areas that lack access to renewables. Apple purchases enough clean energy to offset their power consumption. They buy Renewable Energy Certificates (RECs), which the Environmental Protection Agency defines as “a market-based instrument that represents the property rights to the environmental, social, and other non-power attributes of renewable electricity generation. RECs are issued when one megawatt-hour (MWh) of electricity is generated and delivered to the electricity grid from a renewable energy resource.”
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