Apple has announced an investment of €1.7 billion to establish two data centers, one each in Ireland and Denmark, running completely on renewable energy and will support its services iTunes Store, App Store, iMessage, Maps and Siri in Europe.

Marking Apple’s biggest such investment in Europe, the data centers will be located in County Galway, Ireland, and Denmark’s central Jutland.

“We believe that innovation is about leaving the world better than we found it, and that the time for tackling climate change is now,” noted Lisa Jackson, Apple’s VP, Environmental Initiatives. “We’re excited to spur green industry growth in Ireland and Denmark and develop energy systems that take advantage of their strong wind resources.”

Measuring 166,000 square metres, the facilities will become operational in 2017 with sub-projects on the cards, including educational spaces and reforestations that provide benefits for the local communities, claims the Apple press release.

Apple in Viborg, Denmark, will do away with generators by locating the data centre adjacent to one of Denmark’s largest electrical substations. Heat generated from the data center will be channeled into the district heating system to help warm homes in the neighbouring community.

Apple and broadly the tech industry has been flagged by environment advocates for their negative impact on the environment, points out the Guardian. Having been called the ‘least green’ tech outfit by Greenpeace in 2011 for its dependence on coal, this move will fortify Apple’s marked turnaround of its environmental impact strategy.

The specific details regarding the type of renewable energy to be utilised are yet to be revealed. Onshore wind has been named as a strong contender; one-third of Denmark’s and 16% of Ireland’s electricity comes from wind, The Guardian noted.

(Image credit: iDownload)

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