Fresh off the news that Apple would be investing in the creation of their own brand of automobiles (dubbed "Project Titan"), it appears the conglomerate is going to find a way to become a greener, more energy stable company.
Apple, Inc. plans on building two data centers in central Europe that would be powered entirely by renewable energy. The goal is that by spending $1.9 billion (1.7 billion euros), the effort to become green would create hundreds of jobs for a mass populace.
Ireland and Denmark will power Apple's online services, which include the iMessage, Maps, Siri, iTunes Store, and App Store for customers all across Europe. The money being used for the investment will be evenly divided between the two countries. The Irish government already confirmed to The Associated Press that 850 million euros (roughly $964 million USD) would be spent in Ireland.
"The significant new investment represents Apple's biggest project in Europe to date," Apple CEO Tim Cook said in a released statement. "We're thrilled to be expanding our operations, creating hundreds of local jobs, and introducing some of our most advanced green building designs yet," he added. By erecting these data centers in Europe, Apple is syphoning off some of its foreign cash while creating warm and fuzzy feelings locally. It also places the company in a better position for defending users' data privacy.
Europe, which is quickly becoming a "trust center" for data, has experienced an uptick in new sites that placate fears of an American/National Security Agency controlled data center. Each new center will measure approximately 166,000 square meters, with Apple promising to create opportunities for the local communities they'll inhabit. The facility in Ireland will include outdoor education space and walking trails for local schools and universities, as well as community efforts to replant native trees in the surrounding area. Excess heat produced by the data center's servers will be used to warm local homes.
Apple's commitment to renewable energy is an attempt to place the company in a favorable light amidst concerns of unstable atmospheric conditions.
"We know at Apple that climate change is real. The time for talk has passed and the time for action is now," Cook said in the same released statement.
Under Europe's new regulations, which are currently being debated, companies that violate the country's data protection rules could face fines of up to 100 million euros ($114 million) or 5% of their annual revenue. A regime that was created in conjunction with the United States and complies with European rules, known as Safe Harbor, allows the former to self-certify with the latter. Currently, that agreement is being challenged in European courts, but despite the brouhaha, Apple's attempt at emitting greener energies throughout the world is an effort greatly appreciated.
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