Apple’s commitment to powering itself entirely with carbon-neutral energy by 2030 is getting a boost in Europe thanks to the company’s investment in a pair of gigantic wind turbines. The massive turbines are being built in Esbjerg, Denmark, and will stand 200 meters, or 656 feet, tall, making them two of the largest onshore wind turbines in the world. To put their size in perspective, the average onshore turbine in the United States is 466 feet tall, and the tallest is only 574 feet, making the two Esbjerg turbines nearly 100 feet taller.
The twin Esbjerg turbines will generate 62 GWh per year, or enough energy to power 20,000 homes, and will supply power to Apple’s recently opened Viborg data center, which Apple said is already completely powered by renewable energy. The Viborg data center helps power the European versions of the App Store, iMessage, Apple Music, and other Apple services.
Apple’s commitment to being completely powered with renewable energy by 2030 won’t stop with its data centers and business operations, the latter of which are already completely carbon neutral. Apple states it wants to include its manufacturing supply chain and product life cycle by 2030.
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“Investments in clean energy deliver breakthrough innovations that bring clean energy and good jobs to businesses and local communities. This is an area where we have to lead–for the sake of our planet and future generations,” said Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of Environment, Policy, and Social Initiatives.
Along with making clean energy leaps through its investment in the Esbjerg turbines, Apple has also had support from some of its European manufacturing partners as well, with German battery manufacturer Varta committing this past week to powering its Apple-based operations with 100% renewable energy. Along with Varta, German companies Henkel and tesa SE have also joined the over 70 participants in Apple’s Supplier Clean Energy Program, as have several other companies throughout Europe.
It’s worth noting that participants in the program only need to power their production of Apple products with 100% renewables and aren’t bound to that same commitment for non-Apple work they do. That doesn’t mean supplier partners aren’t expanding their use of renewables beyond Apple products, though; some partners, like Belgian chemical company Solvay, “are now expanding their use of renewable energy to their broader operations after joining Apple’s Supplier Clean Energy Program five years ago,” Apple said.
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“Combating climate change demands urgent action and global partnership–and the Viborg data center is powerful proof that we can rise to this generational challenge,” Jackson said.
Apple exceeded its 2020 clean energy supplier commitment in 2018, and as of June 2020, reports that its suppliers have committed to 7.8 GWh of clean energy use. “Once completed, these commitments will avoid over 14.3 million metric tons of CO2e annually–the equivalent of taking over three million cars off the road each year,” Apple said.