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Amazon becomes largest corporate buyer of renewable energy
- December 15, 2020
- Steve Rogerson
Amazon says it has become the largest-ever corporate purchaser of renewable energy as it invests in more projects for its corporate offices, fulfilment centres and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres.
The company announced 26 more utility-scale wind and solar energy projects totalling 3.4GW of electricity production capacity, bringing its total investment in renewable energy in 2020 to 35 projects and more than 4GW of capacity, the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year.
Amazon has now invested in 6.5GW of wind and solar projects that will enable the company to supply its operations with more than 18 million megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy annually. This is enough to power 1.7 million US homes for one year.
These projects will supply renewable energy for Amazon’s corporate offices, fulfilment centres and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres that support millions of customers globally. They will also help advance Amazon’s goal to reach net-zero carbon emissions across its business by 2040.
Part of that commitment is powering Amazon’s infrastructure with 100% renewable energy, and the company is now on a path to achieve this milestone by 2025, five years ahead of the initial 2030 target.
“Amazon is helping fight climate change by moving quickly to power our businesses with renewable energy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO. “With a total of 127 solar and wind projects, Amazon is now the biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy ever. We are on a path to running 100% of our business on renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of our original target of 2030. This is just one of the many steps we’re taking that will help us meet our climate pledge. I couldn’t be more proud of all the teams across Amazon that continue to work hard, smart and fast to get these projects up and running.”
The 26 added wind and solar projects are in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, UK and USA. The projects are Amazon’s first in France, Germany, Italy and South Africa. In the USA, Amazon has now enabled wind and solar projects in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas and Virginia.
The company has 127 renewable energy projects globally, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 68 solar rooftops on fulfilment centres and sort centres around the globe.
“Private sector investment is essential to scaling renewable energy at the pace necessary to drive global climate action,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA). “The US-based projects alone make Amazon’s announcement 270% larger than the largest corporate procurement announcement from a single off-taker to date, and showcase the company’s leadership and commitment to a clean and prosperous energy future.”
Last year, Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded the climate pledge, a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement ten years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. The pledge now has 31 signatories, including Unilever, Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft and Best Buy. To reach its goal, Amazon will continue to reduce emissions across its operations by establishing a path to power its operations with 100% renewable energy, five years ahead of the company’s initial target of 2030; delivering its shipment-zero vision to make all shipments net-zero carbon, with 50% net-zero carbon by 2030; and purchasing 100,000 electric delivery vehicles, the largest order ever of electric delivery vehicles.
“On behalf of the renewable sector, we applaud Amazon for its unprecedented contribution to the renewable energy transition this year,” said Gregory Wetstone, CEO of the American Council on Renewable Energy (Acore). “With an impressive 35 major new renewable projects in 2020, Amazon deserves tremendous credit for its leadership in the global shift to renewable energy. Procuring more than 4000MW of new renewable power in a single year is an incredible achievement, and it marks big progress towards Amazon’s goal of being powered by 100% renewable power. We are immensely grateful to Amazon for their efforts to help us stay within shouting distance of the greenhouse gas emission reductions scientists say are needed to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.”