Apple: Greenpeace’s Cloud Math Is Busted
Apple says it will use 20 megawatts of power at full capacity in its North Carolina data center, about one-fifth the amount estimated by Greenpeace in a report that is sharply critical of Apple and other data center operators for relying upon “dirty”energy sources to power their cloud computing operations.
Apple’s statement raises serious issues about the credibility of the estimates in the Greenpeace report, and illustrates the difficulty of seeking to estimate data center power usage - a detail that many companies are unwilling to disclose on their own.
Greenpeace has estimated that Apple will use 100 megawatts of power at the facility in Maiden, North Carolina. Greenpeace’s Gary Cook used that estimate to downplay the significance of Apple’s substantial investment in on-site renewable power in Maiden, which includes a 20 megawatt solar array and a biogas-powered fuel cell with a 5 megawatt capacity.
“While much has been made of this announcement, it will cover only 10 percent of their total generation for the data center,” Greenpeace said in its report, How Clean is Your Cloud?, which has received widespread media attention today. But Apple says that isn’t the case at all.
This was a quick response from Apple. Perhaps they are getting a bit tired of being portrayed as the poster child for all the woes of the world.