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Why Apple Just Invested in Wind Turbines In China (cnn.com) 124

An anonymous reader quotes CNN Money: Apple's latest deal in China doesn't have anything to do with smartphones. The tech giant is investing in the Chinese wind power industry, turning to the world's most populous country to help it achieve its goal of getting 100% of its energy from renewable sources. The iPhone maker struck a deal this week to buy a 30% stake in three subsidiaries of Goldwind, China's biggest wind-turbine manufacturer... it's Apple's largest clean energy project to date and the first of its kind in the wind power sector, Lisa Jackson, vice president of Apple's environment initiatives, told state-run newspaper China Daily...

Environmental group Greenpeace has warned that electronics manufacturing uses a lot of energy in China, drawing on the country's high number of polluting coal power stations. Apple's moves into renewable energy are an attempt to compensate for this... The new wind project will add 285 megawatts of clean energy to China's grid, which Apple says will offset some of the other sources used by its operations and those of its immediate suppliers Foxconn, Lens, Catcher and Solvay.

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Why Apple Just Invested in Wind Turbines In China

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  • The reason is simple. If apple brought the money home and invested it in turbines in the USA, it would have had to pay taxes on them.

    The bad thing about this is that apple is allowed to invest its money abroad while evading taxes in the first place. Yes, the pentagon wastes a lot of money, but that's no reason for not paying taxes.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      The bad thing about this is that apple is allowed to invest its money abroad while evading taxes in the first place.

      They are not "evading" taxes. What they are doing is perfectly legal. What is idiotic is that the US government thinks it should have the right to tax income made by selling products manufactured in China to Chinese consumers. No other country on earth tries to collect taxes on extraterritorial transactions. America needs to fix its tax laws.

      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by sabri ( 584428 )

        No other country on earth tries to collect taxes on extraterritorial transactions.

        Not true. A lot of countries tax business income from entities that are registered within its borders.

        If a business is headquartered in, let's say Dublin, then Ireland gets to collect taxes on any income (profit, depending on the local laws) on the worldwide income of that business.

        This is what is happening a lot, and this is how companies keep their taxes low. They create legal entities in tax-friendly companies, and divert income there.

        The U.S. does not tax businesses for income out of foreign entit

        • by khallow ( 566160 )

          and divert income there.

          So it's not actually world-wide income, but Irish income. Otherwise "divert" has no meaning. Sure, it's a game, but a game with rules.

          The U.S. does not tax businesses for income out of foreign entities. It does tax natural persons, citizens and lawful permanent residents, on their worldwide income.

          Note that there's no diverting world-wide income to the US. It's a different beast.

    • when surveyed that's what CEOs were planning on spending the money on once the incoming administration removes those taxes. That means layoffs, and lots of 'em, because that's what you do after a M&A spree. It also means less competition. Meaning price hikes. I suppose there'll be a little investment, in automation. That's what Carrier's gonna do with about half the money they're getting paid to keep those jobs around....

      Now, if we had the political will to actually make them pay their fair share tow
    • It's a marketing move. And a commitment to China over US. Yes, Apple knows they contributed a huge amount to China and Asia, and now that Asians can afford iPhone's that's they only growth hope with no other new product to dell than a watch that very few people care about. If Apple could avoid paying any tax in the US they would. If the US didn't command a huge amiunt of revenue and was where they started they'd have moved somewhere else already. I am also not sure why people expect companies to behave any

  • I remember when they made computers.

  • Be it Google or Apple, it doesn't matter if these companies are "offsetting" anything or buying carbon credits and whatnot.
    These are the companies that have enough money to directly build and invest on renewable power infrastructures to supply their own demands.

    What's the point of them buying stakes on renewable energy companies if in the end their data centers and factories are still using unregulated coal power, usually in cities that desperately need to move away from those? It's a half assed way to make

    • What's the point of them buying stakes on renewable energy companies if in the end their data centers and factories are still using unregulated coal power

      Coal is burned for electrical generation where no other practical method is available, particularly in China... so if you're talking about Foxconn you are spot on.

      If you are not, you are under-appreciative of the positive impact even lip service to the environment brings when a corporate giant such as this makes a commitment to renewables.

      If we could just get the next gen Nuclear plants implemented...

    • Re:Half assed... (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Rei ( 128717 ) on Saturday December 10, 2016 @11:18PM (#53461555) Homepage

      I think you're confused. They're not buying "carbon credits". They're literally putting money into the manufacture of wind turbines. More wind turbines will exist because of this. 285MW nameplate more. Wherein does the problem lie?

      What's the point of them buying stakes on renewable energy companies if in the end their data centers and factories are still using unregulated coal power, usually in cities that desperately need to move away from those?

      And what do you think that the additional produced turbines will do - lie around on a factory floor? They'll be installed and generating power on the grid. Who cares where?

      And more to the point, you don't just get power from a single power plant. You're connected to a grid which moves power among numerous plants. In particular, on the Chinese grid there's a number of HVDC and HVAC lines that bring power from the sparsely populated interior (wind, hydro, etc) to the densely populated coast. Directly reducing the need for power generation infrastructure on the coast, even though the wind / hydro / etc hardware isn't located on the coast.

      • Re:Half assed... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by whoever57 ( 658626 ) on Saturday December 10, 2016 @11:25PM (#53461573) Journal

        They'll be installed and generating power on the grid. Who cares where?

        The anti-renewable energy crowd don't understand this critical point: electricity is fungible. If they reduce demand for dirty power, it really doesn't matter which coal-powered generator shuts down.

        • by skids ( 119237 )

          it really doesn't matter which coal-powered generator shuts down.

          Well, it does a little depending what you are downwind of, but yeah. Though it may be a more effective suppressor to coal in some markets than in others depending on the price of coal in that market.

        • You're hilarious, China is currently building 52 GW of coal plants (79 plants) in other countries, this 256 MW of wind farm is a gnats fart in a hurricane and doesn't matter. Typical renewable energy crowd here, into symbolism over substance, can't understand math nor magnitudes of energy.

          • Of course one wind farm is small in comparison to the total investment in old technologies, idiot. It's not a useful comparison. What if I compared one coal plant against the total investments in renewable energy?

            In reality, China is making huge investments in renewable energy. [publicfina...tional.org]

            • by hey! ( 33014 )

              Of course this is against a backdrop of massive energy consumption increases, which makes moving away from coal extremely difficult.

              China has epic pollution problems based on its dependency on low-grade coal. How bad is it? They're sending their kids to school in surgical masks, which unfortunately do almost nothing. Can you imagine that happening here?

              Recent research, however, shows that while China's coal consumption has continued to increase, it has decreased as a fraction of total energy production.

              • You underestimate how broken China is.

                China has problems with days long traffic jams of single rear axle trucks hauling coal. Because powerful people own the obsolete coal plants near the cities, transmission lines from the coal producing regions are not being allowed to be constructed. Eventually they will build them, but not until the sons/daughters of central committee members make more money (and the power transmission companies fall into their hands).

                • by hey! ( 33014 )

                  Oh, I'm not underestimating how broken China is, not by a long shot. I'm just going by what the data says, which is that coal is declining, albeit slightly, as a share of energy there even as energy demand climbs. Just because it's broken doesn't mean they aren't trying.

            • The point is China is massively rolling out old tech in other countries, a little bit of renewables doesn't matter. You are the idiot thinking it means anything.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    Almost every time I see news about them, it has virtually nothing to do with their products. And when it does, it's usually about some insanely bad design decisions leading to premature device failure, or some other long running problem that they've been completely ignoring and only recently acknowledged on a limited basis because they were forced to by threat of a huge class action lawsuit.

    So... What exactly does Apple do?

    They don't make premium hardware anymore (charging premium prices isn't the same thin

  • by Anonymous Coward

    We should be using *all* available energy sources.

    When the cost of power spiked in north CA six years ago, I ripped out my two electric furnaces and replaced then with coal stoves (one heat, one combo heat/cook stove). You know what?? They're not dirty, not sooty, and provide a higher quality of heat for a **MUCH** lower price than electricity. Consider me a coal convert. IMHO, more people should be considering coal for heating and cooking needs. **Much** cheaper than electricity in this particular mar

    • by skids ( 119237 )

      Using electricity for resistive heating is like using vintage wine to marinate. Electricity is kinetic-quaity energy... heat is just heat. Which is why air conditioners and heat pumps can move more "watts" of heat around than they use in watts of electricity.

      So it's no surprise that just about anything was cheaper than that.

    • The local 'coal store' isn't convenient to me.

      We know you are lying.

  • Perpetual motion is quackery, but we use it every day with solar, geothermal, wind and hydroelectric sources. I'll grant you that "perpetual" doesn't really apply when applied to sources of energy that come from a giant ball of gas undergoing fusion, since it isn't technically perpetual. Nonetheless, it is free energy on a human scale. Let's support investing in collecting and using such free energy sources because it makes life better for all of us. I know Apple isn't without its faults, but each time huma

  • Apple has a ton of money
    Apples stuff is made in China
    Greenhouse gas emmissions are a global problem
    And Trump doesn't beieve in global warming, so why invest in the US?

  • ... renewable energy is the future and Apple has more cash than God.

    It's a sound investment and a way for Apple to diversify.

    However, it's also a red flag.

    Apple is not investing in R&D and cannot buy a Steve Jobs replacement.

    When companies step away from their core competency, it forms a bubble that pops down the road.

    As they implode, they sell off all the non-core assets and concentrate on the original business model -- often too late to save itself.

    I give you Mobil Oil Corporation.

    I worked for them ba

    • Apple is not investing in R&D

      Oh, for crying out loud. Apple spend $2.57 billion in R&D last quarter - almost 15 times as much as 10 years before when they were still working on the iPhone.

      • You do get what happened, right?

        Ten years before, they were not the power player they were post-iPhone.

        Now they are speeding forward in a backwards direction.

        Buying non-core shit is not R&D.

        • Buying non-core shit is not R&D.

          Spending $2.5B on R&D is fucking R&D.

          • This isn't fucking R&D. [cnn.com].

            The iPhone maker struck a deal this week to buy a 30% stake in three subsidiaries of Goldwind, China's biggest wind-turbine manufacturer.

            • This isn't fucking R&D. [cnn.com].

              This is you [rapgenius.com] or at least what you are fucking

              What the hell makes you think the price of "buying a 30% stake in three subsidiaries of Goldwind, China's biggest wind-turbine manufacturer" would in any way or form be counted in Apple's R&D budget?

              In case you already forgot your original claim to which I responded:

              Apple is not investing in R&D

              To which I replied the number Apple cites in their quarterly report, which is way higher than zero.

              • What the hell makes you think the price of "buying a 30% stake in three subsidiaries of Goldwind, China's biggest wind-turbine manufacturer" would in any way or form be counted in Apple's R&D budget?

                You made my point, didn't you?

                • What the hell makes you think the price of "buying a 30% stake in three subsidiaries of Goldwind, China's biggest wind-turbine manufacturer" would in any way or form be counted in Apple's R&D budget?

                  You made my point, didn't you?

                  You have no point. And you probably can't read.

  • by ozduo ( 2043408 )
    A business thats full of hot air should invest in wind turbines. Whee lots more spin!!!!!
  • This is Apple looking for the next opportunity to make money. This is not only about saving the planet. Anyway, it's still a great move.
  • It's probably because they will profit somehow with this AND get to pretend they're good guys.

    • It's probably because they will profit somehow with this AND get to pretend they're good guys.

      What's happening is that this wind farm is a test-bed for Chinese wind turbine makers, who will then proceed to export under-cost wind turbines until they've driven most foreign manufacturers out of business just like they've done to rare-Earth mines and solar-cell makers outside of China.

      The Chinese simply made Apple pay for it; "that's a nice business you have there, it would be terrible if you suddenly were unable to have your stuff built here".

      Apple is helping to finance the destruction of Western alter

      • Apple is helping to finance the destruction of Western alternative energy equipment manufacturing by China.

        Strat

        Once all of the coal miners are back to work, and hte US has all the clean coal power that progressives have denied us, why would we care one little bit about a faulty pseudo technology like wind power?

        We stand on the cusp of a new great age, and China and our homegrown commies can eat their turbines, because they can't compete with our coal.

        • Once all of the coal miners are back to work, and hte US has all the clean coal power that progressives have denied us, why would we care one little bit about a faulty pseudo technology like wind power?

          We stand on the cusp of a new great age, and China and our homegrown commies can eat their turbines, because they can't compete with our coal.

          What, you think I'm a Trump-ette? LOL!

          I only hope he at least does minimal damage, and maybe even does a few good things that neither party has been willing to do.

          At this point, that's about the best I can hope for.

          Strat

          • Once all of the coal miners are back to work, and hte US has all the clean coal power that progressives have denied us, why would we care one little bit about a faulty pseudo technology like wind power?

            We stand on the cusp of a new great age, and China and our homegrown commies can eat their turbines, because they can't compete with our coal.

            What, you think I'm a Trump-ette? LOL!

            Never said anything like that. But renewable energy is not a conservative thing. And being that you rail on every chance about the progressives, so I took a wild-ass guess that you toe the company line.

            • Never said anything like that. But renewable energy is not a conservative thing. And being that you rail on every chance about the progressives, so I took a wild-ass guess that you toe the company line.

              I'm absolutely *for* renewable energy.

              *BUT* I'm for renewable energy that can compete equally against other forms without being propped-up by governments. I believe giving renewables special tax breaks, grant programs, etc etc actually *hurts* and/or slows the advancement of renewable energy technology.

              If renewable energy gets special breaks then there's not as much competitive pressure on renewable sources/technology to improve as fast or as much. Let them succeed or fail on their own merits. Let Darwinist

  • Basically, China continues to put in more new coal plants (35-50 GW / year) than they put in AE (20-30 GW / year).
    They should stop ALL new coal plants and start closing them, esp. the old ones. BUT, they are counting on these to power their EVs, which is what they are pushing more.
    now, this may look like Apple is helping, but they are not. China will continue to build out NEW coal plants that exceed the AE. As such, prices for electricity will go down and their investment will be worthless.

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