As Apple observed the completion of a 40 MW solar project it has had under development in the Sichuan province of China, it announced it would add another 200 MW in that country. (The new 40 MW solar plant apparently makes Apple’s retail and admin systems in Sichuan neutral on the carbon front.)
Perhaps even more impressive – Apple reportedly wants to develop 2 GW of clean energy in China, which is 50 times the size of the new 40 MW plant. That’s a lot of clean energy, especially for a business, and if Apple can achieve this figure, it would be very impressive.
“Climate change is one of the great challenges of our time, and the time for action is now. The transition to a new green economy requires innovation, ambition and purpose. We believe passionately in leaving the world better than we found it and hope that many other suppliers, partners and other companies join us in this important effort,” said Tim Cook, CEO, Apple.
Of course he’s right, climate change is extremely important, but there is another immediate need for China: reducing air pollution. This public health hazard contributes to millions of deaths each year there and even more respiratory problems. China burns a tremendous amount of coal, which obviously is a severe problem due to all the emissions.
It would be fascinating to see what happens there if it comes to pass that one of the leading solar power generators is an American hi-tech company.
It would appear that Apple’s rate of solar power development has surpassed that of some entire states in the US. For example, in Florida about 22 MW was installed in 2014; Apple may have surpassed that easily. State governments — any government bodies — aren’t known for acting quickly, so perhaps it is unfair to compare them to one of the world’s leading tech companies that prides itself on taking a leadership position.
Image Credit: Joe Ravi, Wiki Commons