Apple is the worst offender among tech giants relying on "dirty energy" like coal to fuel gigantic data centers, according to a scathing Greenpeace report released this week. The report also slammed Amazon and Microsoft for excessive energy use, while praising Facebook, Google, and Yahoo for their efforts to use more renewable energy for cloud computing. Apple disputed the Greenpeace report, saying its data center now under construction in North Carolina will use 20 megawatts at full capacity, not the 100 megawatts Greenpeace estimates.
Solar panels and fuel cells powered by bio-gas will make the North Carolina facility "the greenest data center ever built, and it will be joined next year by our new facility in Oregon running on 100% renewable energy," Apple said. A Greenpeace spokesman questioned how the 500,000-square-foot data center would only consume 20 megawatts, but he welcomed the greater transparency from Apple, CNET notes. "Apple has the highest percentage of coal power, and has been highly reluctant to disclose anything about their data centers," he said.