Amazon is expanding its global renewable energy investments with 71 new renewable energy projects around the world, generating up to 50,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of clean energy.
The projects will power Amazon’s offices, fulfilment centres, data centres, and stores. Once completed, the tech giant’s complete portfolio will boast a total of 379 renewable energy projects across 21 countries and generate the equivalent amount of electricity required to power 4.6 million U.S. homes each year.
Included in this latest batch is Amazon’s first renewable energy project for South America. A 122 MW solar farm in Brazil which, according to Amazon, will also provide ‘economic benefits to the local economy and the region’s biodiversity’ in addition to providing renewable power to Amazon’s operations in the region.
The tech giant is currently the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy globally, and as of the end of 2021, reached 85% renewable energy use around its business. With the inclusion of this latest batch of generation projects, Amazon hopes to increase this moving forward.
“We are bringing new wind and solar projects online to power our offices, fulfilment centres, data centres, and stores, which collectively serve millions of customers globally, and we are on a path to reach 100% renewable energy across our entire business by 2025. Around the world, countries are looking to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy, and continued investments like ours can help accelerate their journey as we all work together to mitigate the impacts of climate change,” said Adam Selipsky, CEO of Amazon Web Services.
The expansion is being completed through the Clean Energy Buyers Institutes (CEBI) ‘Beyond the Megawatt’ initiative. The initiative, launched this year, aims to ensure that future renewable energy procurement is done so through ‘resilient, equitable, and environmentally sustainable’ energy systems..
“As a key leader in the CEBA community, Amazon continues to demonstrate that when it commits to a vision, it drives a pace and scale that’s a new bar to follow,” said Miranda Ballentine, CEO of Clean Energy Buyers Association (CEBA) and Clean Energy Buyers Institute (CEBI).
In 2019, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge, committing to achieve net zero carbon by 2040 – 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement. The Pledge now has more than 375 signatories, including IBM, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Unilever, and Visa.
In order to support the goal, the Amazon is also investing $2 billion into the development of decarbonizing services and solutions through its Climate Pledge Fund. A corporate venture capital fund which invests in companies that can accelerate Amazon’s path to meeting The Climate Pledge goals.
Through the fund, Amazon recently announced its partnership with Rivian, an electric vehicle manufacturer that is working with the company to deploy 100,000 electric delivery vehicles onto U.S. roads. Amazon is also working with Plug Power, developer of hydrogen fuel cells, to supply 10,950 tons per year of green hydrogen for its transportation and building operations.
However, despite taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint, the companies latest annual report revealed an 18% increase in its emissions. But, the company claims this isn’t the correct metric to look at, instead suggesting carbon intensity should be front and centre.
“As companies invest in new products and services, and their businesses grow substantially, the focus should not be solely on a company’s carbon footprint in terms of absolute carbon emissions, but also on whether it’s lowering its carbon intensity,” the report notes. “Over time, continued decreases in carbon intensity can lead to lower absolute emissions.”
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