Most people associate the name “Apple” with electronics. But now, it’s linked to renewable energy, too. In 2019, Apple announced plans to invest in three wind projects in Hunan China. Two of the three large-scale wind farms produce 48 megawatts (MW) of electricity in a year, while the other produces 38 MW. Each wind farm plays a significant role in bringing sustainable energy to Hunan China, but collectively they offset substantial amounts of conventional electricity and minimize dependency on non-renewable fossil fuels. The wind farm project is owned by an organization called Concord New Energy Group, Ltd.
Commitment to Better Energy
The latest investment by Apple is just another step forward in its dedication to using renewable energy. In 2015, the company announced the launch of its Supplier Clean Energy Program. Through this program, Apple and its manufacturing partners established a commitment to transitioning away from fossil fuels entirely. The goal is to create a resilient supply chain, reduce carbon emissions, and build healthier communities. The global network includes 29 suppliers around the world that have secured 3.7 gigawatts of alternative energy. Apple’s primary goal is to produce at least 4 gigawatts of clean energy for its global supply chain before the end of 2020. Its latest investment in Hunan China brings the company even closer to achieving its goal.
The China Clean Energy Fund
These three mega wind projects are an investment by the China Clean Energy Fund (CCEF). The CCEF is the first investment fund of its kind in China. It connects suppliers with renewable energy projects across the country. Although the wind project in Hunan China is the first of its investments, many more are planned for the future. The multi-megawatt project is certainly impressive, but it’s only a small start towards Apple’s goal of supporting at least 1 gigawatt of renewable power by 2022. Two of the wind farms are located in Hunan China, while the third (smaller) wind farm is located in the Hubei Province. Combined, they reach about one-tenth of Apple’s larger renewable energy project production goals by the end of 2022.
With their individual renewable energy product capacities, each wind farm will do its fair share in helping local governments and economies reach benchmark renewable energy goals established by each province. Revenue from the wind farms will also help impoverished areas like Dao County get a much-needed economic boost. Along with supporting China’s renewable energy goals, the three wind farms open the door of opportunity between Apple and prospective funding partners to achieve positive results.
Who’s on Board?
This ambitious project is certainly impressive, but it’s also a goal Apple can’t achieve on its own. Therefore, the company has intentionally joined forces with suppliers and investors around the globe. With the launch of the CCEF, Apple hopes to increase investment significantly in renewable energy projects, especially across China. Through this latest investment and Apple’s original Supplier Clean Energy Program that began in 2015, many more manufacturing partners around the world has joined the pledge to reduce dependency on fossil fuels and use 100% renewable energy in their production lines. Currently, 44 manufacturing partners and suppliers across 16 countries are on board with the plan to use non-renewable electricity in their manufacturing lines. By achieving its goal of using 4 gigawatts of non-polluting power by 2020, Apple will officially use renewable power for over one-third of its electricity needs for its global supply chain.
This ambitious project is a great start for Apple and its partners as far as achieving a lofty goal of switching to 100% renewable energy in the next few years. The company hopes that along with reducing carbon emissions and environmental impact, its project will serve as a global model for others to source electricity from renewable sources instead of fossil fuel-based energy.