Apple caught fibbing about running on 100% renewable energy

Guest opinion by Tim Worstall 

Nonsense, Pish And Tosh – Apple Claims To Run On 100% Renewable Energy

Apple is claiming something which isn’t true, that the company now runs on 100% renewable energy. It’s not just not true, it’s nonsense, pish and or, to taste, tosh. No one at all has worked out how to run a 24/7 energy system purely upon renewables. At least, not one that delivers reasonable amounts of power as and when desired. The claim that anyone has is thus a serious misstatement of the truth. It also underplays the difficulties we’ve got in getting the economy to a non-emitting energy system. Assuming, of course, that we even want to do that.

What Apple is actually claiming – and it’s necessary to read through quite a bit of their announcement to grasp this – is that Apple generates the same amount of renewable energy as it uses, or at least purchases renewably generated, or renewables certificates in the last resort. It isn’t true that Apple only uses such renewably generated for the same reason that plagues evey other such desire and dream of a greener world – intermittency.

This is direct from Apple and it is wrong, pish and tosh style wrong:

Cupertino, California — As part of its commitment to combat climate change and create a healthier environment, Apple today announced its global facilities are powered with 100 percent clean energy. This achievement includes retail stores, offices, data centers and co-located facilities in 43 countries — including the United States, the United Kingdom, China and India. The company also announced nine additional manufacturing partners have committed to power all of their Apple production with 100 percent clean energy, bringing the total number of supplier commitments to 23.

If this weren’t a family magazine I’d be describing this claim as [poppycock, hornswaggle, and fermenting piles of steaming nonsense.  .mod]

One report has a slightly sheepish footnote to it:

Update April 9th, 4:17PM ET: Clarified that Apple, like Google, is not actually 100 percent powered by clean energy, but it uses the term to signal that it buys enough green energy to offset its global power consumption.

That’s quite possibly true. But it’s of little use in that fight against climate change which is why the distinction between the two claims is vitally important.

You have to see Apple’s Reno, Nevada, data center from the inside to truly understand how huge it is. It’s made up of five long white buildings sitting side by side on a dry scrubby landscape just off I-80, and the corridor that connects them through the middle is a quarter-mile long. On either side are big, dark rooms–more than 50 of them–filled with more than 200,000 identical servers, tiny lights winking in the dark from their front panels. This is where Siri lives. And iCloud. And Apple Music. And Apple Pay.

Powering all these machines, and keeping them cool, takes a lot of power–constant, uninterrupted, redundant power. At the Reno data center, that means 100% green power from three different Apple solar farms.

This is really extremely unlikely. Those server farms operate 24 hours a day. Solar power plants tend not to given that rotation of the Earth thing. And no, the specific plant we’re talking about,. Fort Churchill, is indeed a PV one, doesn’t work at night, at least not unless Nevada’s been as stupid as Spain was over feed in tariffs.

It could be that the solar farm produces twice the electricity Apple needs during the day, half of which they sell to others. Then at night, they buy similar power supplies back to power the server farms. But that’s not running on 100% renewables at all. It’s doing the easy part of going green but it doesn’t deal with that hard, possibly impossible, problem of intermittency.

So, Apple says it runs on 100% renewables. Nope, that’s not a technological challenge anyone’s managed to crack as yet, not over cycles of energy.

Story originally published at The Continental Telegraph, more here

(republished here at suggestion of the author)

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Tom Halla
April 10, 2018 1:26 pm

Oh Yes. Apple somehow marks electrons on the grid, and only uses green generated ones? It is about as precious as all claims for renewable energy.

Neil Jordan
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 10, 2018 1:42 pm

Yes, definitely. Their smart meter has a filter that screens out bad electrons from nuclear, natural gas, and especially coal. Once a month the meter reader opens the meter and shakes out the filter into a recycling bag that is sent to a landfill or other worthy recipient (like me) who isn’t picky about where his electricity comes from as long it is on 24/7. For the \sarc challenged, you won’t get one for this reply.

The Reverend Badger
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 10, 2018 2:44 pm

Electrons on the grid.
They actually keep reusing the same ones as the secondary of the HV supply transformer is electrically isolated from the primary. None of those electrons on those lovely towers criss crossing the coutryside ever get anywhere near your home, or data centre.

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
April 11, 2018 3:45 am

It’s AC. For the most part those electrons are sitting almost exactly where they started. They just meander back and forth sixty times a second.

Doug Huffman
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 10, 2018 2:51 pm

So much for the (well considered) single universal electron. See, to start with , Charles Sanders Peirce’s Identity of the Indiscernables. All appearances of the electron are intrinsicly (not extrinsicly) identical.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 10, 2018 3:36 pm

I asked the same of [my local] Wagamama recently.
They did not acknowledge – let alone respond.
I know how I interpret that.

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 10, 2018 5:07 pm

Too bad billions of iPhones on the planet are charged by coal fired power stations. Including mine.

Reply to  HotScot
April 10, 2018 6:30 pm

Even more so by the ones with deliberately made sh!t batteries.
Well done Apple. Your lies and deception won’t last forever.

Reply to  HotScot
April 10, 2018 6:49 pm

Phil, they may not last forever, but they’ll last long enough.

Bryan A
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 10, 2018 9:47 pm

Apple needs a smart meter that only functions when their Green generation sources are actually producing power and disconnects them from the grid when their Green Generators sit Dark

George Tetley
Reply to  Tom Halla
April 11, 2018 3:34 am

Apple ? iPad ? ( $ enter a telephone number )
Apple users pay for this excess green horse s&it.
I got a XGODY that does everything ( ipad ) can do and more but payed only $75.00 delivered from China, ( with a battery that lasts + – 8 days without a recharge )
100% happy

Reply to  Tom Halla
April 11, 2018 5:56 am

This is why Apple paid 18% tax to the U.S. in 2016 and U.S. taxpayers subsidized it. What percent did you pay?

April 10, 2018 1:46 pm

And what does the truth matter, when all of the tech magazines and newspapers are running headlines that “Apple is running 100% renewable”?
You’re not going to get people to listen, they’ve already made up their minds.

Reply to  TonyG
April 10, 2018 3:07 pm

Its worse than that.
Apple claims “Apple currently has 25 operational renewable energy projects around the world, totaling 626 megawatts of generation capacity”
Note that’s nameplate “CAPACITY”, not actual production. And with “… 286 megawatts of solar PV generation coming online in 2017.” that too is capacity, whether its day or night — gee if only the Sun would shine at night 🙁
So yes, Apple is virtue signalling at its finest.

April 10, 2018 1:51 pm

In their office? Maybe. It’s not a critical operation.

michael hart
Reply to  nn
April 10, 2018 5:09 pm

In their office?
In their orifice.

April 10, 2018 1:52 pm

Yeah, yeah … and my carbon-neutral life is purchased from Al Gore’s online “eco-indulgences” store. The Pope approves.

David Bidwell
April 10, 2018 1:53 pm

Do we know if at their solar farm they have another bank of 5 white building filled with batteries that charge during the day and supply the overnight power needs?

Greg F
Reply to  David Bidwell
April 10, 2018 5:26 pm

I am sure they have battery backup. Enough to keep everything running until the backup generators start up.

Reply to  Greg F
April 12, 2018 1:05 pm

“till the backup generators start up.”
Maybe 30 seconds? They need 100% of the plant power requirements standing by. With services valued in the hundreds of millions of dollars per day, you bet they are not taking chances. I bet every backup generator gets tested every day and there are lots of spares. Let’s see… 200,000 servers, each drawing say 1KW? That would be 200 megawatts. The grand Tesla battery in Australia is rated at 125MWh. So it could power the Apple plant for about an hour and fifteen minutes. And then there is the A/C.

R Shearer
April 10, 2018 1:54 pm

Unicorns only eat rainbow colored apples.

Reply to  R Shearer
April 12, 2018 8:21 am

Interestingly, that rainbow coloured apple logo was ditched about thirty years ago!

April 10, 2018 1:57 pm

…and your next iPhone will cost $1,400

Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 10, 2018 2:10 pm

Would have anyway.

Stephen Richards
Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 11, 2018 1:24 am

i don’t buy apple. It’s a “come and be robbed” operation.

April 10, 2018 1:58 pm

Alex Epstein pointed out Apple’s logic back in 2014. If they pay for green energy then it must be green energy. Right.

Roger Knights
Reply to  James Webb
April 10, 2018 9:18 pm

Well, their greenbacks are green, anyway..

April 10, 2018 2:00 pm

This is a common claim. You sometimes see it plastered all over the place, about this and that is being powered by renewable energy. Or they say that they buy the electricity directly from the renewable electricity producer, say a wind producer, so they are green. Except that can’t happen. Electrons that are produced on a grid go to nearest demand source to be consumed in real time.
Electricity is like a water pipe as if you were to add water to a flowing pipe, for voltage, (pressure) amps, (size of pipe) Kw/h (volume – gallons per hour). If you put electrons into a grid, no matter how they are produced, you can’t get those exact same electrons back out somewhere else. Just like if you added water into a pipeline, you couldn’t get the exact same water back out of the pipe down the line somewhere. It is a bookkeeping issue, keeping track of the power usage. Same for net metering, although the meter keeps track of the usage both ways.
What this post highlights is the Intermittency problem with renewables, primarily wind and solar. Or outright false advertising, such as in the case perhaps where Apple generates the same amount of renewable energy as it consumes in general, but not like they self generate for their entire 24/7 consumption. There is a big difference, and most lay people don’t understand the difference. I see where some renewable generators are saying they are using block chain to ensure their electron’s go directly to their customers somewhere else. Can’t happen, and I am not sure what the block chain has to do with it, other than more misleading advertising and information.

The Reverend Badger
Reply to  Earthling2
April 10, 2018 2:53 pm

Anything “Blockchain” is a con/scam. Steer well away from it, move your suppliers, move your money. It’s all going to end VERY VERY badly like tulips and railway stocks.Only those who keep well away will be safe.

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
April 10, 2018 5:14 pm

The Reverend Badger
IPhones weren’t throttled by battery health, were they?
Until they were found out.
Seen the OVO advert running on UK TV just now? Disgusting, suggesting they provide nothing but renewable energy.
Ffff……orking con men!

Dave Nunn
Reply to  The Reverend Badger
April 11, 2018 9:41 am

Not just OVO either. They make a double claim in that advert suggesting that some people think that climate doesn’t change when we all agree it does but can’t know the cause accurately.
I’m considering making a representation to the Advertising Standards Authority about such companies. The more people that join in the better.

Greg F
Reply to  Earthling2
April 10, 2018 6:01 pm

Electricity is like a water pipe …

I cringe every time I hear this. It’s a bad analogy for DC. It’s totally useless for AC.

If you put electrons into a grid, no matter how they are produced, you can’t get those exact same electrons back out somewhere else.

The drift velocity is really slow. Since it is AC those electrons don’t ever actually go very far (micrometers), they just vibrate back and forth.

Reply to  Greg F
April 10, 2018 7:40 pm

So, they don’t actually buy green electrons, they buy power(kWh) from an electricity supplier. The supplier(partially themselves) buys power from the grid.
So, since virtually everybody gets power the same way, Apple and everybody else is using the same amount of “green” power that is supplied to the grid.
According to the number of customer outages can easily vary by more than 35,000 a day across the US. The US generated nearly 5 million Gigawatthours in 2017. New York area East Coast Gas and electric purchased 48million megawatthours of “certified” green electricity. 5,000,000,000,000,000 vs 4,800,000,000,000 watthours. 9.6e-16 of the US power, or 9.6e-14%. Probably 5-600% of what Apple used in Nevada. Still a miniature percentage, less than 1/500th, but nearly unmeasureable in the overall usage.
Total US “renewable” energy production in 2017 was 10%, of which hydroelectric was the largest source at 24% followed by biofuels, wind, wood, solar, biomass waste, and geothermal at 2%.

Reply to  Greg F
April 10, 2018 8:05 pm

Fair enough Greg…maybe provide a different simple analogy how electricity would be better described, especially putting in renewables on the grid somewhere and taking them out somewhere else and claiming the renewable energy was doing the actual work elsewhere where somebody was paying the bill for the renewables? Obviously, water is a bad example for EMF, (Electromotive force) but the analogy for volts being pressure, amperage being volume (bigger pipe/wire) x time etc is sort of internationally accepted way of making electrical transmission which is real complicated a bit more simple for lay people to understand. The ‘water in the pipe’ does convey the essential big picture for someone with no comprehension of what is happening in a electrical circuit/wire. That was the way it was explained to me in my elementary first year electronics class. But if you (anybody) has a better analogy, I am all ears. Keep it simple…

Greg F
Reply to  Greg F
April 10, 2018 9:10 pm

The ‘water in the pipe’ does convey the essential big picture for someone with no comprehension of what is happening in a electrical circuit/wire.

Unfortunately if they have no comprehension they have no comprehension. How do you explain AC with a water pipe? You can’t. How do you explain reactive power with a water pipe? You can’t. how do you explain transformers in a water pipe? You can’t. If the generators are pumps how do you explain why some pumps (wind generators) cannot black start the grid?
It isn’t explaining how the grid works that is the problem. It is the fact that most people don’t understand electric generation in relation to time. They think of it like a basket of apples. That if you put some apples in the basket now, because you don’t need them, you can take them out of the basket when you do need them. This seems totally reasonable to them.
If there was a better analogy I am sure someone much smarter than me would have thought of it. Lack of a better model does not justify using a bad model. A bad model can be worse than no model since it can lead to misconceptions on how something works. Misconceptions can be very hard to undo. Think climate models.

Reply to  Greg F
April 10, 2018 10:42 pm

Greg F

If there was a better analogy I am sure someone much smarter than me would have thought of it. Lack of a better model does not justify using a bad model.

Far better to compare the electric distribution system to a garden hose: The pressure inside the hose is the voltage, the current is the flow. The work (that can be done by the flowing water) is the current x the voltage.
Thus, a very long 800 foot garden hose can transfer the water “pressure” a long way. But very, very little “work” because the flow is so little due to the great resistance of the hose. I can put out a small trashcan fire or water the garden with a 50 foot hose. Even a 100 foot hose. But the 800 foot hose loses its “energy” (pressure) almost as soon as the valve is opened. Only a little trickle comes out.
A three inch diameter fire hose moves a tremendous mass at water and does not lose much pressure. An eight inch diameter steel pipe looses even less energy due to flow resistance. But, if the flow is stopped, all three (the garden hose, the 3 inch hose, and the 8 inch pipe) will have the same pressure at the end.
“Black starting” a power plant requires independent power to run the controllers, the oil pumps, the feed pumps, the burner controllers, and all of the auxiliaries needed before the main shaft can turn. Not all plants can do that, but many (most are able). An independent wind turbine needs the grid to power these auxiliaries, and (more important) needs the grid to sense & control and synchronize the digital AC output before shutting the output breakers. The commercial windmills have no independent power .

Reply to  Greg F
April 11, 2018 6:17 am

I always had a problem with solid-state electronics. When they started telling me the electrons flowed one direction and the “holes” went the other way, my mind went into spasms.

Greg F
Reply to  Greg F
April 11, 2018 1:24 pm

Far better to compare the electric distribution system to a garden hose: The pressure inside the hose is the voltage, the current is the flow.

How do you explain a transformer then? Take a step down transformer. The voltage (pressure) goes down but the current (water flow) goes up. It’s a bad analogy.

Reply to  Greg F
April 12, 2018 1:30 am

The analogy of a transformer would be two hydraulic pumps with a gearbox in between.
One side a low volume high pressure. The other low pressure high volume.

Reply to  Greg F
April 16, 2018 1:31 pm

The analogy of a transformer would be a garden hose with your thumb on the outlet of the hose, which is increased pressure (voltage) and decreased flow (amps/current flow). No thumb on outlet is decreased voltage pressure and increased current flow. Garden hose or water pipe is a good simple analogy for basic electricity flow, but of course, can’t describe everything about electricity. If there is no better analogy available, then this one is useable.

April 10, 2018 2:03 pm

They can afford it, they don’t pay taxes.

April 10, 2018 2:08 pm

Could be using battery storage when without sun but I doubt it. The cost would be astronomical.

April 10, 2018 2:13 pm

It’s called “Net Zero” and it is really easy to do.
Certified renewable energy credits can be bought for 50 cents per MWh in some parts of the US. The average household uses about 1 MWh per month.
$6/yr to go net zero on electricity. Or $500 worth of credits and you’ll almost certainly have net zero electricity for life.

Ben of Houston
Reply to  vboring
April 10, 2018 8:11 pm

For $5 I’ll send you a certificate saying “Net Zero for eternity”. It will be on very nice paper.
It will be worth about as much as those credits.

April 10, 2018 2:21 pm

There’s another little misdirection that Apple fails to list and likely the Continental Telegraph missed.
Once renewable electricity is fed into a grid, there is no possible way to identify which is renewable energy.
Thus, all energy from that grid portion is considered renewable.
This little fakery is how several European countries manage to claim 100% or some portion thereof as renewable electricity.
It is also how Californ inflates the alleged percentage of renewable energy. Californ also inflates their renewable percents by “estimating” home installations of renewable energy collectors.
This is the aggregated bucket where Californ invents annual renewable energy increases.
No measurements are necessary, increase the total estimate of home installations, then increase the amount of energy each one generates. by increasing their ‘energy generated estimate’. An amazing accomplishment for home solar hot water heater installations.
Blame it on Enron, who brought and taught electrical confusion to national and international grids, then profited on that confusion.

Berényi Péter
Reply to  ATheoK
April 10, 2018 3:18 pm

It’s called Mexican Government Math. It is said there was a highway in Mexico City with 2 lanes in both direction. They wanted to increase throughput, so repainted it to have 2×3 lanes, thereby increasing capacity by 50%. Unfortunately it turned out the lanes were too narrow this way, leading to lots of fender bender, which slowed down traffic considerably. No problem, they repainted it to have 2×2 lanes, decreasing capacity by 33%. And, at the end of year, the government claimed victoriously, they have increased capacity by 17% in an extremely smart way. Yes, 50 minus 33 makes 17, does it not?

Reply to  Berényi Péter
April 10, 2018 6:32 pm

I was making $20/hr. My boss gave me a 50% raise last year. Then the next month he said he took a really bad hit on the last contract and he was going to have cut my salary by 40%. I said OK, a 10% raise is still pretty good.
Now I know why I am only making $18/hr.

April 10, 2018 2:29 pm

Whats really funny is that right on the other side of I-80 is the Frank A. Tacey gas power generating station at 885 megawatts, not that they would need any of that since they only use renewable energy?

Don K
April 10, 2018 2:29 pm

Technically, the claim that you can’t run serious stuff on renewable power is wrong because hydro and grid scale geothermal are technically renewable and some places Quebec, Iceland, Costa Rica do pretty well depending largely on those. Of course, environmentalists with their usual loose grip on reality don’t like hydro if the project is big enough to be useful. And having a volcano handy can have serious drawbacks.
In any case, I’ll give Tim Worstall a pass on that even though he really should know better. His main point — that claims of “100% Green” by Apple, and Google are incorrect and misleading — is fine. The claims are, in fact,incorrect and misleading.

The Reverend Badger
Reply to  Don K
April 10, 2018 2:57 pm

EVERYTHING is renewable. The world still has the same collection of atoms as it did 1000 million years ago. You just need to rearrange them from time to time.

Gunga Din
Reply to  The Reverend Badger
April 10, 2018 4:02 pm

How many atoms in a stripped down Tesla? Isn’t there one out there that was aimed at Mars but missed?
(Though, it’s true, Earth won’t miss a Tesla or two (or all of them).

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
April 10, 2018 4:58 pm

“Rob Bradley April 10, 2018 at 3:12 pm
“The world still has the same collection of atoms as it did 1000 million years ago.”

That is not true. For example the atoms that make up New Horizons, the Voyager series, a red Tesla, and the Martian rovers are gone. In a similar vein, there is a daily arrival of new atoms from meteorites. We haven’t even considered the escape of gaseous molecules/atoms at the TOA.”

Egregiously, wrong again!
Every day the Earth collects dust from space that more than makes up for the few satellites snt on distant missions.
Earth has gained, not lost. Reverend Badger nailed the topic accurately.

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
April 10, 2018 5:27 pm

If the net loss of atoms, outweighed the net gain of atoms, planet earth would have been doomed long ago.
The Reverend Badger is, as usual, correct.
Have some mashed potato sir, put it on my account.

Mike Restin
Reply to  Don K
April 10, 2018 3:02 pm

Hydro is not renewable in the green world.

Reply to  Mike Restin
April 10, 2018 5:08 pm

Some jurisdictions have put limits on hydro such as CA which is at a 15 Mw threshold. Not renewable by some Decree doesn’t make it not renewable. To say that 16 Mw of hydro is not renewable if you just open your turbine valve at bit more, is absurd. Almost as crazy as the whole pronoun issue about gender. Bizzare.

Reply to  Don K
April 10, 2018 5:11 pm

That is sophistry in action.
Hydro, nuclear and geothermal electrical generation maintains high quality consistent and very reliable electricity.
Neither hydro or geothermal are viable unless local conditions are suitable.
The problem with “sustainable electrical generation” has always been with the intermittent variable sources; i.e. wind, solar and tidal.
That ever fluctuating variability makes the electricity generated unsuitable for commercial or precision industrial purposes.
Besides the problems where there is insufficient land for sufficient intermittent generating sources; without the high quality electricity supplied by nuclear, hydro, geothermal or fossil fuels generation, most of mining, refining, industry and research would be seriously hampered.

April 10, 2018 2:32 pm

retail stores, ,,,,,,,,,,,, in 43 countries — really? They have their own special extension cords
This is all going to be a hoot…if the whole world goes on renewables……no one to buy credits from

Reply to  Latitude
April 10, 2018 2:48 pm

And manufacturing in China?

Reply to  Latitude
April 10, 2018 5:13 pm

All of those sapphire boules they need for their screens?
Variable intermittent electricity? Not a chance!

Svend Ferdinandsen
April 10, 2018 2:33 pm

And all of us that do not buy this crab we are left with the leftover from the green table. If i would like to only purchase atomic power i would still be poisened with all those green electrons.

Reply to  Svend Ferdinandsen
April 10, 2018 3:24 pm

You have to eat your Greens. If you don’t eat it your Greens, how can you have any peace.

Reply to  nn
April 11, 2018 1:37 am

Not to mention any pudding….. 🙂

Dave Nunn
Reply to  nn
April 11, 2018 10:03 am

I’ve just been told that by my oncologist. More treatment tomorrow and I hope to come out the other end OK.
If only to watch the alarmist nonsense to unravel.

Greg Cavanagh
April 10, 2018 2:36 pm

“but it uses the term to signal…”
That’s called “lying” for the rest of us, but to the holier than thou social justice warriors it’s signalling your goodness and good intentions. How good can you be?

son of mulder
April 10, 2018 2:37 pm

What, even at it’s offshore manufacturing plants?

Reply to  son of mulder
April 10, 2018 3:10 pm

Especially offshore, in China. Environmental arbitrage is big in “green” circles.

April 10, 2018 2:38 pm

Renewable, all organic electrons are green, as we all know.
Electrons from coal and oil are black.
Electrons from natural gas are powder blue.
Electrons from hydro are dark blue.
Electrons from nuclear are bright red.
So how does one select only the ones which are desired?
This is where Smart Meters come in.
And now you know.

Reply to  TonyL
April 10, 2018 2:40 pm

I always suspected something like that might be true!

Reply to  TonyL
April 10, 2018 3:03 pm

Thanks for the laugh +++++

Phil Rae
Reply to  TonyL
April 10, 2018 6:44 pm

Ha! Ha! Ha! Brilliant! But you forgot to mention how those renewable, organic electrons have all got extra “spin” to enhance their virtue signalling potential : ]

April 10, 2018 2:39 pm

Apple pays for all renewable and puts up solar plants. Apple USES the exact same energy we all do.

The Reverend Badger
April 10, 2018 2:48 pm

And my SUV is Carbon NEGATIVE. It emits fewer atoms of Carbon from it’s exhaust than it takes in via the fuel tank. There is an inbuilt carbon sequestration and storage system in the very heart of the engine.
In the old days we used to de-coke , now not so much.

Reply to  The Reverend Badger
April 10, 2018 3:07 pm

Not to mention the muffler.
Major carbon sequestration.

April 10, 2018 3:09 pm

Similarly in the UK Ovo Energy runs a series of nasty ads, with the claim “100% Renewables”
– The TV one sneering at climate skeptics
– The full page newspaper ads sneering at Trump
The @ASA_UK say that’s OK, cos in small print it says they buy renewable certificates on hour behalf
That small print is too fast or in tiny WHITE letters on a LIGHT-BLUE background
The ASA is supposed to protect against dishonest advertising, but like BBC/Guardian/mostMSM and TV regulator OfCom they are all in the same “libEstablishment old-pals club”, so let Greenpeace get away with similar misleading ads aswell

Reply to  stewgreen
April 10, 2018 3:12 pm

dumb typo “hour behalf” = on “our behalf”

Kelley Yeager
Reply to  stewgreen
April 10, 2018 5:04 pm

If they bought RECs (aka Green Tags) from a reputable generator, they can claim “renewable”. Power hits the grid and the ions aren’t identifiable. There are many renewable generators that some portion of their generation isn’t hedged. As such, they can sell their green tags (i.e., RECs) as a commodity.

Reply to  stewgreen
April 10, 2018 5:37 pm

Nice to meet you here as well as at Paul’s.
The OVO ad’s are misleading and repulsive.
Great post.

Reply to  stewgreen
April 10, 2018 10:01 pm

Makeup companies have to make disclaimers more noticeable than that. As in: “Lash effects enhanced in post-production”, “Simulation of product results on lashes enhanced with lash inserts”, etc. The National Advertising Review Board states that the disclaimer must be clear and conspicuous to consumers.
So mascara advertisements are held to a higher standard than these companies.

Dave Nunn
Reply to  stewgreen
April 11, 2018 10:13 am

There are a few companies claiming the same thing on social media. If the ASA will not act then I might just acuse these companies of being liars and then see if they want to take me to court. I have a degree in Electrical and Electronic Engineering so I think I can defend myself.

Reply to  Dave Nunn
April 11, 2018 11:10 am

I think it’s unlikely ASA will do anything. And they’ll probably just ignore you. But if you can shake them up enough to go to court I’d love to see it, and I’ll contribute to any defense fund!

April 10, 2018 3:21 pm

Obama’s EPA chief is an X-O of Apple in charge of “energy”. Al is there too, on the board of directors!
Ha ha

Reply to  JBom
April 10, 2018 5:43 pm

And you perceive the salvation of the planet as some sort of personal competition?
Says it all about the alarmist wacko’s.

Gunga Din
April 10, 2018 3:25 pm

So….they bit the apple but they didn’t swallow?

Tsk Tsk
April 10, 2018 3:35 pm

Tim Worstall!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! More please!

Reply to  Tsk Tsk
April 11, 2018 12:07 am

I’m at Continental Telegraph these days. – the new project.

April 10, 2018 3:53 pm

It’s Apple. They simply redefined the words to fit their need. After all, they know best.

April 10, 2018 3:59 pm

I just got this e-mail from Arcadia power pedaling this renewable nonsense.
“Since starting your Arcadia Power membership last month, our community has sourced over 60,000 kWh of clean energy – that’s the equivalent of 200 acres of trees!
Ready to join us?
Get started by connecting your NorthWestern Energy MT account to our platform and let us handle the rest!
With your membership, you’ll be able to start accessing clean energy, worry-free bill payments (with no credit card fees), our community solar program, and the ability to get home efficiency products at zero-down.”
I have no memory of accepting any membership either.

Reply to  DMA
April 10, 2018 4:58 pm

Er, Arcadia how many KWH per tree is that??? Or is is trees per KWH? Pure gobbledegook.

Reply to  DMA
April 10, 2018 10:03 pm

I think I would rather they planted trees on 200 acres. Heaven knows it would have more of an effect on the environment. And a beneficial one to boot!

Reply to  DMA
April 10, 2018 11:43 pm

I bet they didn’t say how much extra the existing trees grew from the extra CO2 from those damn evil coal plants! Greening the earth, one molecule of CO2 at a time!

Rick C PE
April 10, 2018 4:27 pm

So I’d be curious to see an accounting of claims of “green energy” use versus green energy produced. That is, add up all the kWh actually consumed by those claiming to use green energy and compare to the total kWh produced in the same market. I have a suspicion that there may be a bit of an imbalance which could indicate some green energy credits are being sold more than once. Perhaps a serious audit should be done.

Kelley Yeager
Reply to  Rick C PE
April 10, 2018 4:58 pm

There is an annual audit by an independent industry association, but dual claims remain and are at times overlooked.

Jan T
April 10, 2018 4:42 pm

“If this weren’t a family magazine I’d be describing this claim as the seed producing parts of male genitalia and not just that but great big hairy, dangly, ones.”
How amazingly crude. Utterly unnecessary and unworthy, and just the sort of expression the lefties use, not the right.
I stopped reading right there.

Reply to  Jan T
April 11, 2018 1:41 am

Jan T: You must be amazingly fun at parties…..

Kelley Yeager
April 10, 2018 4:44 pm

Agreed. I’m no expert but renewables are hourly and seasonal. I can go into monthly forecasting, but at the end of the day, voluntary (i.e., those not covered by RPS) are working towards 100% renewables. During certain weather conditions, fossil fuels are the default. Even those who are under RPS mandate find it difficult to manage demand to renewables. We should applaud those who are not under a mandate to attempt to secure renewables to meet their demand.

April 10, 2018 5:46 pm

Another EPA ex-Secretary trying to convince the world she knows what she talking about. The simplicity of Apple’s claim about preserving the Clean Power Plan sounds like another anti-intellectual argument.
Separately, does the Apple include the energy and emissions related to the manufacturing their products? In China and elsewhere?

Joel O’Bryan
April 10, 2018 6:55 pm

The summer time cooling requirements for those buildings and those 200,000 proceesor slices is certainly far more than the Solar PV farm can provide at 3pm in July. Then’s there’s those nights where it stays hot..
They probably are only accounted for computer power not facility cooling.
And the reason it’s in Nevada should be obvious. Lower grid power costs. Less burdensome state regulations. No income tax for the employees.

Hoyt Clagwell
April 10, 2018 6:57 pm

My car is completely carbon neutral because I was planning on driving 40,000 miles per year, but I chose to drive only 20,000 miles. That means I prevented as much CO2 as I created, and therefore I have added no CO2 to the atmosphere! Apple math is fun!

April 10, 2018 8:48 pm

“You have to see Apple’s Reno, Nevada, data center”
Data centers generate a significant amount of heat.
Why build a data center where it’s hot and cooling is expensive and complicated?
Why not build them in cold places where cooling is simple and inexpensive and all that heat is potentially valuable?

Brian R
April 10, 2018 8:49 pm

If Apple were truly committed to using renewable energy, they would have the roofs of their data center covered in solar panels. From looking at Google Maps I don’t see a single solar panel on the property.
Maybe like many Skeptics they have done the math and it figured out that’s solar power is not cost effective.

April 10, 2018 10:51 pm

The reality is that, based on the paleoclimate record and the work done with models, the climate change that we have been experiening is caused by the sun and the oceans over which mankind has no control. There is no real evidence that CO2 has any effect on climate and plenty of scientific rational to support the idea that the climat sensivity of CO2 is zero. There may be plenty of good reasons to be conserving on the use of fossil fuels but climate change is not one of them. So Apple’s efforts will have not effect on climate. But even if Apple’s efforts could stop the climate from changing, extreme weather evernts and sea level rise are part of the current climate and would continue unabated.
I can only imagine that the transport of personel, materials, and products both too and from Apples facilities still involves the use of fossil fuels.

Patrick MJD
April 10, 2018 11:28 pm

Lets hope they don’t store the power in Apple batteries.

Reply to  Patrick MJD
April 11, 2018 1:19 am

Why don’t the simply buy batteries from the giga-factory along the road, like South Australia, and then they could have ONE plant that really runs on 100% renewable energy. Does this mean that even the world’s wealthiest company can’t afford dispatch able solar power?

Poor Richard, retrocrank
April 11, 2018 2:23 am

Clearly none of the denizens here gets it. “At the Reno data center, that means 100% green power from three different Apple solar farms,” which, obviously, must run off Dark Energy — an unknown form of energy which is hypothesized to permeate all of space” — when the sun is not shining. Otherwise, I think folks who are truly committed to renewables ought to demand that Siri, iCloud, Apple Music, and Apple Pay be shut down when the sun is not shining directly on those three different Apple solar farms.
For fun, perhaps someone here could do a back-of-the-envelope of how large those solar farms must be in order to power more than 200,000 identical servers. Who wants to bet the heat load is impressive?
One thing this does prove is that the Apple PR department is in possession of an infinite supply of weapons-grade BS.

Bosun Higgs
April 11, 2018 4:09 am

The Reality Distortion Field ain’t what it used to be.

Andrew Bennett
April 11, 2018 5:02 am

How about:-
If a company were to build two large reservoirs at different heights with a turbine between them. Use wind and solar power to pump the water from the lower to the upper reservoir as well as power the company and then let the water through at night to generate the electricity.
Would that work?

Gaetean jobin
April 12, 2018 10:54 am

“No one at all has worked out how to run a 24/7 energy system purely upon renewables”

Tom Halla
Reply to  Gaetean jobin
April 12, 2018 12:35 pm

By California definitions, large scale hydro does not count as “renewable”.

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