Apple 2.0

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Apple says it gets 75% of its power from renewable energy

March 21, 2013: 12:15 PM ET

Apple's data centers now get 100%. So does its Cupertino headquarters.

One of the solar farms in Maiden, S.C. Photo: Apple

In Maiden, N.C., the world's largest onsite user-owned solar array. Click for video.

FORTUNE -- Apple (AAPL), which has received more than its share of criticism from environmental activists over the years, released its annual Environmental Progress report Thursday. The chief takeaway from this year's issue: Apple's corporate facilities worldwide now get 75% of their power from renewable sources -- solar, wind, hydro and geothermal -- up from 35% two years ago.

According to Apple, its data centers -- whose servers are are cooled by industrial-strength air conditioning units -- are now powered by 100% renewable energy from onsite and local sources.

UPDATE: The response from Greenpeace, which gave Apple a "D" in its most recent survey of cloud server companies:

"Apple's announcement shows that it has made real progress in its commitment to lead the way to a clean energy future. Apple's increased level of disclosure about its energy sources helps customers know that their iCloud will be powered by clean energy sources, not coal.

"As it keeps growing the cloud, Apple still has major roadblocks to meeting its 100 % clean energy commitment in North Carolina, where renewable energy policies are under siege and electric utility Duke Energy is intent on blocking wind and solar energy from entering the grid.

"To show how it can help remove those roadblocks, Apple should disclose more details about how it will push utilities and state governments to help it achieve its ambitious goal in all of its data center locations."

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Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for

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