In an example of “woke capitalism”, online empire Amazon says it is investing in renewable energy projects as it targets net-zero carbon by 2040.
In Europe, there is the Swedish 122MW onshore wind project in Västernorrland, which is due to be completed in 2022. Amazon is also planning a 50MW solar project in the northern Spanish city of Zaragoza by 2021.
The combined output of the Swedish and Spanish projects could power 158,000 European households, the online giant said.
In Australia, there is a 60-megawatt (MW) solar project due to completed in 2021 in northern New South Wales. The development is due to generate 142,000-megawatt hours (MWh) of renewable energy per year or enough to power nearly 23,000 Australian homes.
Canadian Solar has signed a power-purchase agreement with Amazon for the plant.
Canadian Solar’s CEO Shawn Qu said: “Canadian Solar is very proud to sign this power-purchase agreement with Amazon. Our team has worked hard to bring this opportunity to fruition, and we look forward to further collaboration with Amazon, while we bring the Gunnedah project to commercial operation.
“We are honoured to help Amazon meet its renewable energy goals by using our solar technology and development expertise,” he added.
“Canadian Solar is a leading developer in the Australian solar market, where we have a pipeline of nearly 1.2GW, including 335MW of projects ready to build.
“We look forward to growing our solar projects and solar module supply businesses in Australia, while expanding into other C&I sectors in this region. We see a bright future ahead as Australia continues to expand its renewable energy market.”
In the US Amazon is planning a 65MW solar farm in Halifax County, Virginia, with a 150,000MWh capacity. There is also a new solar project in Pittsylvania to power Amazon’s HQ2 headquarters. There is also an 82MW project in Virginia.
The four new wind and solar projects are due to provide almost 300MW to Amazon’s AWS data centres.
Amazon has already launched 26 clean-power projects to generate 2.2GW, enough to power around 560,000 US households.
“We’re on a mission to meet the Paris agreement 10 years early as part of the ‘Climate Pledge’ commitment to be net-zero carbon across our operations by 2040. These new renewable energy projects are part of our roadmap to 80 per cent renewable energy by 2024 and 100 per cent renewable energy by 2030,” said Kara Hurst, the retailer’s sustainability chief. “In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, investing in renewable energy is a critical step toward addressing our carbon footprint globally.”
Amazon launched a website to report on its renewable energy performance, showing what the company says is its carbon emissions and other indicators.
The firm says it aims to target “Shipment Zero” to make all dispatches net-zero with 50 per cent net-zero carbon by 2030.
Amazon produces a considerable carbon footprint. Picture credit: Wikimedia