Greenpeace busted lying again

Data Center Knowledge

Recently in New Zealand Greenpeace was busted lying after a complaint to the Advertising Standards Authority. Now in the US they have been caught lying again:

Apple says it will use 20 megawatts of power at full capacity in its North Carolina data center, about one-fifth the amount estimated by Greenpeace in a report that is sharply critical of Apple and other data center operators for relying upon “dirty” energy sources to power their cloud computing operations.

Apple’s statement raises questions about the credibility of the estimates in the Greenpeace report, and illustrates the difficulty of seeking to estimate data center power usage – a detail that many companies are unwilling to disclose on their own.

Greenpeace has estimated that Apple will use 100 megawatts of power at the facility in Maiden, North Carolina. Greenpeace’s Gary Cook used that estimate to downplay the significance of Apple’s substantial investment in on-site renewable power in Maiden, which includes a 20 megawatt solar array and a  biogas-powered fuel cell with a 5 megawatt capacity.

“While much has been made of this announcement, it will cover only 10 percent of their total generation for the data center,” Greenpeace said in its report, How Clean is Your Cloud?, which has received widespread media attention today. But Apple says that isn’t the case at all.

“Our data center in North Carolina will draw about 20 megawatts at full capacity, and we are on track to supply more than 60% of that power on-site from renewable sources including a solar farm and fuel cell installation which will each be the largest of their kind in the country,” Apple said in a statement. “We believe this industry-leading project will make Maiden the greenest data center ever built, and it will be joined next year by our new facility in Oregon running on 100% renewable energy.”

Greenpeace has also assumed that Apple would use coal-sourced power in its Prineville, Oregon data center and factored that assumption into its Clean Energy Index ranking of 15.3 for Apple, far below the scores given to Facebook (36.4), Google (39.4) and Yahoo (56.4).

Apple would clearly receive a much higher score if Greenpeace used a 20 megawatt base to evaluate its coal-sourced power.  In effect, the current score whacks Apple for 80 megawatts of “dirty” power that it’s not using.

Greenpeace, like Trevor Mallard, never let the truth get in the way of a good lie.


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  • Guest

    Good on you Cam exposing these pricks for what they are!!