Apple wants to take a bite out of wholesale electricity markets. What exactly does that mean?
It filed last week for permission with federal regulators to sell electricity to other large consumers or to the power grid. Apple Energy, as it will be known, is mainly intended to feed its energy-started data centers with renewable energy. But such energy is contingent on the weather — the sun doesn’t shine all the time while the wind doesn’t blow all the time — so therefore it wants to be able to able to take the surplus power it produces and sell to other industrials or back into the power grid.
“If you want me to do things only for ROI reasons, you should get out of this stock.” Integrating solar power directly into the structure of future Apple Stores would clearly align with Tim Cook’s saying, “We take the same innovative approach to the environment that we do with our products,” Apple Chief Executive told investors, as reported by Electrek.
Apple, Facebook and Microsoft have missions to become greener and more efficient. All are on a journey to power their energy-intensive data centers with more sustainable fuels — facilities that are huge consumers of energy. In many such cases, the companies have concluded that investing in modern enterprises is a more prudent approach than running those businesses, where the experts know best.
As for Apple, it has a goal of powering every one of its facilities using entirely green energy, or solar, wind, hydro or thermal. In 2015, it says, 93 percent of its energy came from renewable sources. The goal is 100 percent.
“Our investments are paying off. We’ve already achieved 100 percent renewable energy at all of our data centers, at our facilities in Austin, Elk Grove, Cork, and Munich, and at our Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino. And for all of Apple’s corporate facilities worldwide, we’re at 75 percent, and we expect that number to grow as the amount of renewable energy available to us increases. We won’t stop working until we achieve 100 percent throughout Apple,” the company’s website says.
Apple could be coming to a market near you.