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Apple Has Good Reason to Appreciate All of the Trash In the World
It is always reassuring when goliath corporations like Apple qualitatively respond to pressures put forth by eco-conscious organizations like Greenpeace to make innovative, eco-friendly decisions.…
It is always reassuring when goliath corporations like Apple qualitatively respond to pressures put forth by eco-conscious organizations like Greenpeace to make innovative, eco-friendly decisions. Upon the completion of Apple’s North Carolina maiden facility there will be some significant changes going on in terms of how it will be kept fueled — and it’s all about the trash.
60 percent of the data center’s power will come from recycled, renewable energy known as biogas, or fuel derived from the decay of organic matter. This will displace the use of conventional natural gas in the generation of electricity and thereby reduce greenhouse gas emissions and smog-forming pollutants. In addition to those two crucial benefits, the method will also provide a cheaper alternative to the use of natural gas.
As the bacterial decomposition of garbage, manure, plant crops, and sewage takes place, there is a subsequent release of methane, the main chemical compound present in natural gas. The beneficial uses of biogas have been in discussion and put into practical use for quite some time now. Cow manure, for instance, is now being turned to by a number of power plants in the US as a source of methane biogas. These power plants have been managing to save overall on transportation costs and have been opening many more jobs for future power plants that will be relying on biogas. Dairy farmers represent one example of those that have naturally been benefitting from an increased demand for biogas. They now have a new and worthy way of putting all that good ol’ waste their cows produce to good use; that is, beyond fertilizer.
In conjunction to the use of biogas, Apple’s new garbage-powered cloud will also subsist on steam and solar-energy as a means of establishing themselves as a company that is environmentally conscious. Perhaps the most positive consequence of Apple’s investment in biogas as a legitimate source of energy is the subsequent following along of other major companies, including Walmart, Coca-Cola, eBay, and NTT America, among others who are clients of Bloom Energy, the company responsible for providing Apple with the highly efficient, low-cost fuel cells needed to generate electricity for their facility. Their fuel cells are well-known for their ability to produce a very minimal amount of eco-polluting emissions and additionally allow companies to benefit from having a source of on-site power.
Finally there is a way of putting our landfills to good use and, most importantly, one that is catching on among huge, influential corporations in the US. In places like Pakistan, the use of biogas has been common practice as early as 1974. It will be interesting to see how far government funding may or may not go in terms of supporting the building of more biogas plants in the US and, additionally, how Apple’s utilization of biogas will lead to its popularization across the US overall.