Apple now gets 75% of its total electricity and 100% of the energy for its data centers from renewable energy sources--wind, solar, biogas, hydro, geothermal. http://www.apple.com/environment/. The portion of its electricity coming from renewables has jumped from 35% in 2010. Apple is actually producing large amounts of this renewable energy on-site at its data centers and other facilities.
In less than 5 years, Apple has become a renewable energy company that produces large amounts of its own power and buys still more. What does Apple's power transformation mean?
First, Apple is a global icon and its example is powerful. Apple's announcement that it had reached 75% renewable energy caused an avalanche of reporting and favorable media. Apple's green plunge is noticed.
Second, Apple's substantial on-site generation is another example of the steady erosion of the grid itself, as solar and fuel cells pose a growing threat to the big central station producing power delivered over a massive transmission system.
Third, Apple's rapid green power transformation shows how easy and quick it is to become a renewable energy company almost anywhere around the globe. Costs for renewable energy are down and falling more, making the path Apple blazes even easier to follow.
Fourth, Apple is a ultimately a brand, a retailer. Image is all-important and powerful. Sleek, cool, and clean are all part of what Apple projects, and using renewable energy reinforces these brand characteristics.
Apple's embrace of renewable energy reveals just how powerful renewable energy already is and how it is shaping the future.