Apple has recently made several importantannouncements about the electricity behindits “iCloud”, significantly increasing its ambitionfor the amount of clean energy powering itsdata centres by saying they would be “100%Renewable,” including a doubling of the amountof solar power attached to its North Carolinafacility.

 Apple’s chief financial officer, PeterOppenheimer, said that Apple will set a newbar for the sector by making all three of Apple’scurrent data centres “coal free” by 2013.1This new ambition to be “coal free” is welcome newsfor the 125 million current iCloud users2, and representsa significant improvement in Apple’s energy choices.However, many details and questions remain about howApple will achieve its 100% renewable goal from thepublic dialogue Greenpeace International has had withthe company. Two of Apple’s three current data centresoperate in regions that are 50-60% coal powered, and willrequire significant new investment or a clear decision byApple to buy electricity from cleaner sources in order tobe considered coal free. Such changes for the electricitysupply chain for Apple’s data centre in North Carolina inparticular are not likely to occur overnight.The following analysis updates our evaluation of Apple toaccount for its recent clean energy announcements, andoutlines the additional steps Apple should take to fulfill itslaudable ambition to set a new bar with a “coal-free” and100% renewably-powered iCloud.