Microsoft on the value of power purchase agreements

July 19, 2017 by  
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The energy market has changed dramatically since Microsoft signed its first power purchase agreement (PPA) in 2012, according to Brian Janous, the tech company’s director of energy strategy. Back then, the idea of signing a 20-year PPA was novel, but now there is a massive uptick in companies participating in energy agreements. However, the risks of market fluctuation and falling prices are all material to designing electricity markets in the future. “More companies are signing a shorter PPA,” said Janous. “These things are not a free lunch.” 

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Microsoft on the value of power purchase agreements

How Apple is moving its supply chain toward clean energy

June 29, 2017 by  
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So far, the tech giant has helped eight companies move toward solar and wind power. The latest commitment, by Jabil, represents the largest pledge yet.

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How Apple is moving its supply chain toward clean energy

Greenpeace says Apple is world’s most sustainable tech company

January 11, 2017 by  
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Five years ago, Apple , Facebook, and Google were the first companies to commit to powering their businesses 100 percent with renewable energy, according to Greenpeace . Delving into the carbon footprints of those and other leading technology companies, Greenpeace recently released a report titled “Clicking Clean: Who Is Winning the Race to Build A Green Internet?” We bet you can guess a few of the winners. Apparently Apple, Facebook, and Google are living up to their commitments; they received top marks alongside newcomer Switch, beating out the competition on factors like renewable energy use and transparency. Apple “played a catalytic role within its IT supply chain, pushing other IT data center and cloud operators who help deliver pieces of Apple’s corner of the Internet to follow their lead in powering their operations with renewable energy,” according to the report. Related: Apple’s water-resistant iPhone 7 will fight e-waste due to drowned gadgets Greenpeace gave Apple As in renewable energy commitment, energy transparency, renewable procurement, and energy efficiency and mitigation. The company’s only B was in the advocacy category. Google also received mostly As except for a B in energy transparency, but Apple edges out Google on Greenpeace’s clean energy index to be the top winner. But not everyone in the tech industry is a winner. According to Greenpeace, Netflix streaming accounts for around one third of North America’s Internet traffic, but they gave the company a D because, according to a statement, Netflix “is likely turning to carbon offsets or unbundled renewable energy credits, which do little to increase renewable energy investment.” Similarly, Greenpeace called for increased transparency from Amazon Web Services, calling them “a prime example of a company that talks up its renewable projects, but keeps customers in the dark on its energy performance while expanding into markets served by dirty energy like Virginia.” There’s hope yet for Netflix and Amazon; as recently as 2011 Greenpeace called Apple the “least clean” tech company , but today they lead the way in running a sustainable tech business. Via Greenpeace and Business Insider Images via Michele Ursino on Flickr and Mike Deerkoski on Flickr

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Greenpeace says Apple is world’s most sustainable tech company

Sources say Apple is no longer building mysterious self-driving car

October 17, 2016 by  
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Apple ‘s mysterious Project Titan appears to have lost steam, according to sources ” familiar with the project .” Bloomberg spoke to people who say the tech giant won’t be building an autonomous car under Project Titan any longer, but will rather hone in on self-driving car software . These people say hundreds of employees working on Project Titan have either been let go or reassigned. Anonymous sources told Bloomberg there have been several issues with Project Titan. According to one person, “It was an incredible failure of leadership.” Project Titan head Steve Zadesky, who used to be an engineer at Ford , left the project earlier this year to work elsewhere at Apple . Bob Mansfield, a manager with experience developing the iPad , eventually came on the team to lead in April. Related: Apple sinks $1B into China’s biggest Uber rival Around a month afterwards, Mansfield announced a ” strategy shift ” at a company meeting, according to Bloomberg which received information from people present at the meeting. Mansfield said Apple wouldn’t create a self-driving car that could compete with those from companies like Tesla ; rather Project Titan would zero in on self-driving car software. But after that meeting, engineers began to leave Project Titan. In August and September employees were let go. Others left on their own. Some people suspected Apple battled supply chain struggles as well. The tech giant typically holds exclusive rights for smartphone parts, but such a strategy didn’t seem to work in the autonomous car game. Suppliers likely didn’t want to grant exclusive rights as Apple may not have sold many cars at the beginning. Center for Automotive Research analyst Eric Paul Dennis told Bloomberg about Apple, “When they started digging into the details of what that would entail it likely became an intractable problem.” According to Bloomberg’s sources, the engineers still with Project Titan are working on “autonomous programs, vision sensors, and simulators for testing the platform in real-world environments.” Regulatory specialists are still part of the team as well. Via Bloomberg Images via Automobile Italia on Flickr and menithings via Freelancer.com

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Sources say Apple is no longer building mysterious self-driving car

Innovator Bill Gross on why clean technology is a trillion dollar business opportunity

September 30, 2016 by  
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One of the tech world’s iconic innovators shares some ground-breaking new solar energy, energy efficiency, and energy storage technologies, and with that, why clean technology remains a staggering opportunity today.

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Innovator Bill Gross on why clean technology is a trillion dollar business opportunity

Dear Shannon: How to land a Google dream job

September 6, 2016 by  
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A glimpse the ins and outs of the tech world — plus tips on how to break in.

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Dear Shannon: How to land a Google dream job

10 need-to-knows about the new U.S. chemical law

September 6, 2016 by  
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The updated Toxic Substances Control Act brings new hope for protecting Americans’ health and environment. Here’s what it does — and doesn’t — do.

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10 need-to-knows about the new U.S. chemical law

Elon Musk sponsors helpful robot who may one day do your chores

July 27, 2016 by  
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Ever wished for a robot to do your chores? OpenAI , the open-source research organization sponsored by Elon Musk , is working on software that would allow robots to teach themselves the best way to accomplish chores. OpenAI is using robots developed by Fetch Robotics that, through a process of trial and error, could soon learn the best way to fold laundry or wash dishes. Fetch Robotics mainly makes robots that can help out in a warehouse, following workers around and collecting items to help save time. They also design their robots to work as a “platform for research and development.” When stretched out, their Fetch robot is 58.75 inches – that’s close to five feet tall. Equipped with a robotic arm with ” seven degrees of freedom ,” 3-D depth sensors, and a 2-D laser scanner, the robot could open up vast new possibilities for anyone who’s trying to save time. Related: MIT is 3D printing functional robots that could walk right off the printer OpenAI is finding that rather than programming a robot to clean the house, it is better to let robots learn how to do a chore. OpenAI’s software is designed to allow robots to develop a ” neural network ” as they learn the best way to accomplish a task, sometimes over thousands of attempts. According to MIT Technology Review, the focus on software rather than hardware indicates OpenAI may think software innovations will be the way to advance robotics, more than creating a shiny new robot. Imperial College London statistical machine learning lecturer Marc Deisenroth told MIT Technology Review, “If this goal can be achieved, then there will be economic and industrial benefits. Imagine a Roomba not only cleaning your floor but also doing the dishes, ironing the shirts, cleaning the windows, preparing breakfast.” Via Forbes and MIT Technology Review Images via Fetch Robotics

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Elon Musk sponsors helpful robot who may one day do your chores

Why Apple is buying and protecting forests

July 18, 2016 by  
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Inside the tech giant’s strategy to lower its paper footprint in China and the United States.

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Why Apple is buying and protecting forests

Brexit, ‘deglobalization’ and the stakes of systems in chaos

July 18, 2016 by  
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What does political backlash to globalization mean for democracy and sustainable development?

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Brexit, ‘deglobalization’ and the stakes of systems in chaos

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