Greenpeace: The iCloud Is One Of the Dirtiest Things On The Internet



Apple has been increasingly interested in powering its operations with that happy old sun, working on a 20-megawatt solar farm coupled with a 5-megawatt fuel cell facility at its data supercenter in Maiden, North Carolina. But that’s not nearly good enough, according to Greenpeace. In fact, the environmental activist group has gone so far as to call Apple out for using “asthma-inducing, climate-destroying coal” which makes the iCloud “the dirtiest thing on the internet.”

What’s the problem? According to Greenpeace, the Maiden, North Carolina green energy facilities cover only 10% of the data supercenter’s power needs. The rest of that 90% comes from the local power grid, which is one of the dirties in the country, and uses mostly coal power:

To deliver iCloud services, Apple has dramatically expanded its data center infrastructure. It has invested at least $1bn in an “iDataCenter” in North Carolina, one of the world’s largest data centers, and just announced another facility to be built in Prineville, Oregon. Unfortunately, both of these investments are powered by utilities that rely mostly on coal power. Given the lack of transparency, siting policy or a clear commitment to power the iCloud with renewable energy, Apple is finding itself behind other companies such as Facebook and Google who are angling to control a bigger piece of the cloud.

Apple is not alone in being criticized by Greenpeace in this way. Amazon and Microsoft are also taken to task by the environmental group for their dirty clouds. Google and Facebook, however, get high marks for prioritizing renewable energy over burning a hunk of carbon dug up from the bowels of the earth.

You can read Greenpeace’s full report “How Clean Is Your Cloud?” here.

[image via Flickr]

  • Blake Beavers

    learn to spell dirtiest

  • mr_bee

    Greenpeace is just like the Mafia. You do what they say, or they put you in their next report.

    You’re actual actions don’t matter mind you, just obedience to Greenpeace.

  • Lane Jasper

    “which is one of the dirties in the country” “dirties” s/b “dirtiest”

  • joewaylo

    Does Apple plan on switching to Nuclear I wonder? They do have a plant 173.3 miles from their data center they can setup a contract with.

  • ??nD ??os??A

    What a crock. Greenpeace is just looking for publicity. They have no idea how cloud migrates compute power from millions of homes using 450W PCs to centralized data centers. The idea of “switching” to another power source is ridiculous. The coal power plants are already built and will be used until their useful life is over. So even if a cloud provider started using a specific “clean” power plant via a contract, the coal plants will still remain on line and pick up the load that the cleaner plant is dropping. No power company is going to stop using any plant until its useful life is over. Greenpeace is searching for relevance, releasing this crap, when there are plenty of other issues out there worth pursing, which could make a real impact.

  • sonofsci

    Trying to appease Greenpeace is exactly the same (in all implications) as trying to pacify terrorists. Changes one could make to improve conditions for their standards today will immediately be raised and raised as you adhere to them. They create nothing.