Amazon Announces New Investments in RE in US, Canada, Europe

Retail giant Amazon announced this week that it was investing in nine new utility-scale wind and solar energy projects in the US, Canada and Europe, thereby becoming the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in Europe. The company said that with these 9 new projects, it now has 206 renewable energy projects worldwide that can generate 8.5 GW of electricity to power its corporate offices, fulfillment centers, Whole Foods Market stores, and Amazon Web Services.

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“Many parts of our business are already operating on renewable energy, and we expect to power all of Amazon with renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of our original target of 2030,” said Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos.

The projects to be set up in the US include a 100MW Imperial Valley solar farm with 70MW of energy storage capacity in California, the company’s first combined solar and storage project, as well as a 118MW wind project located in Murray County, Oklahoma. Additionally, three solar energy storage facilities across Ohio’s Allen, Auglaize, and Licking counties will also be constructed. The company has also sought to expand its foothold in the UK renewable energy sector by announcing its investment into a 350 MW wind farm off the coast of Scotland, which is the largest corporate renewable energy deal announced by any company in the UK to date. Amazon’s Spanish solar projects are located in Extremadura and Andalucia, collectively supplying more than 170MW of clean energy to the grid. The retail giant’s latest venture- a 258MW onshore wind project- is located in Sweden.

All these announcements follow the company’s revelation last May about its plans for five utility-scale solar power projects in Australia, China and the US. Its recent focus on renewable energy owes to its Climate Pledge launched in 2019 which aims to reach net zero carbon by 2040. Companies who sign the pledge agree to a number of measures, including regularly reporting greenhouse gas emissions, implementing decarbonization strategies and offseting emissions. The signatories are more than 50 in number and the list boasts of companies like Uber, IBM, Unilever, etc.

“Wall Street, customers, and international businesses are all watching what American companies are doing about climate change, and this type of leadership can have a major impact on the climate crisis,” said Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association.

Although the company received a lot of flak just this month for terminating two employees who criticised its impact on climate change, Bezos says that Amazon continues to scale up its investments in renewable energy as part of its effort to meet The Climate Pledge- its commitment to being net-zero carbon by 2040.

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Soumya Duggal

Soumya is a master's degree holder in English, with a passion for writing. It's an interest she has directed towards environmental writing recently, with a special emphasis on the progress being made in renewable energy.

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