Thursday, 10 September 2015


Today it was announced that Apple have got planning permission for their data centre in Galway.

There will be no energy generating facilities at the site but eventually the company says it hopes to be in a position to support and drive new projects that would supply the entire power supply needs of the facility.

So no windmills or solar panels to be built nearby. So what are their real intentions ?

Apple says it will offset all the energy it uses from the national grid by purchasing the same amount from renewable energy providers and supplying that back onto the grid.
I think we need a Humpy Dumpty to provide an explanation for this Apple-wocky gobbledygook. 
We can make an analogy with someone doing their shopping to try to help us understand :
Peter says he will offset all his grocery purchases from M&S by purchasing the same amount from local markets and supplying this produce back into the market.
Are you any the wiser ? Why would any rational sane person do this ?


  1. Unfortunately, I was just too busy to put in an objection to this planning application. In Ireland, consumers cannot buy renewable electricity only. All mains electricity is a mix fossil fuel generated electricity, a small amount of British fossil/nuclear electricity and Irish wind energy. There is no supplier of wind electricity direct to consumers. So let me try to guess how Apple will do this. Wind/fossil electricity must be sold to one of the main electricity suppliers, ESB Electric Ireland. Bord Gais, Energia, Airtricity comes to mind. These suppliers pay wind generators and conventional suppliers for their power. The rate for conventional power is between 35 and 120 (average 57) Euros per mwh and wind gets 80 Euros. The final consumer therefore cannot buy one or the other. If they could, I would opt to buy only the cheaper fossil power and refuse to buy wind energy. If Apple is to do this, special arrangement will have to be made, so how could this work? Let me guess. A wind company contracts with Apply to sell X mwh annually. They will have to receive more than 80 cent, they can get from REFIT, say 85 cent and this will leave less for sale to suppliers. Now Apple will have get rid of this wind energy. If they sell it back into the market they will have to take a loss of at least 6 Euros to attract interest. They must have factored in that the positive spin will increase sales in an increasing competitive market. Then again, with the election of Jeremy Corbyn, spin seems to have passed its sell by date.

  2. The Irish Times reported on 29 April 2015 that "The technology giant said proposals must be eligible for subsidies under the State’s REFIT program, which applies to onshore wind, hydro and biomass. Apple only wants projects within the Republic of Ireland, and they must be ready in 2017 or 2018". See
    It was not possible to route electrons on a homogenous electrical network when I went to school; perhaps this is the new virtual reality. Or perhaps the reality is that Apple is more interested in REFIT-subsidised electricity.
    The report states that its data centre in Athenry will require capacity estimated at more than 300MW for services such as iTunes, Maps and Siri. All to satisfy our need to store hundreds of high resolution piccies and videos of the wedding or christening in the iCloud. Never to be viewed again.
    So next time you check your iPhone, ask yourself what is at the root of the problem . . . .