Amazon ramps up renewable energy investments – FreightWaves

With 10 gigawatts of renewable energy globally, Amazon just became the “largest corporate buyer of renewable energy” in the U.S. and the world. 

In a race to get to net-zero emissions, meet sustainability targets and move away from fossil fuels, Amazon is on its way to meet its goal to power 100% of company activities with renewable energy by 2025.

The company currently has 232 renewable energy projects around the world — “enough to power 2.5 million U.S. homes,” according to a Wednesday release. Wind projects account for 85 of those, while 147 are solar projects.

“We’re driving hard to fulfill The Climate Pledge — our commitment to reach net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the Paris Agreement,” Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO at Amazon, said in the release. “Our investments in wind and solar energy in the U.S. and around the world send a signal that investing in green technologies is the right thing to do for the planet and citizens — as well as for the long-term success of businesses of all sizes across all industries everywhere.”

The details on Amazon’s 14 additional renewable energy investments are:

  • Eleven projects will span across seven U.S. states, including Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana and Ohio. Arkansas, Mississippi and Pennsylvania will get their first Amazon-invested solar projects. Altogether, Amazon said 54 renewable energy projects in the U.S. produce more than 6 gigawatts of renewable electricity.
  • The largest solar farm in Canada is scheduled to begin generating clean energy in 2022, according to the release. This is the second renewable energy project Amazon has in Canada, and it will generate 375 megawatts of electricity.
  • Amazon’s first renewable energy investment in Finland will be a wind farm near the west coast of the country, generating 52 megawatts of electricity beginning in 2022.
  • Amazon is investing in its fifth solar project in Spain. It will generate 152 megawatts of electricity when it goes online in 2023.

View a map of Amazon’s wind and solar projects around the world here.

“Amazon’s commitment to clean energy is highly commendable, and it is the type of investment that we need to see more of to meet the world’s critical energy and climate needs,” Abigail Ross Hopper, president and CEO of the Solar Energy Industries Association, said in the release. 

Amazon expanding and diversifying energy investments

The company announced it was the largest corporate buyer of renewable energy in Europe in April when it had 8.5 gigawatts of renewable electricity production capacity globally. In two months, that 8.5 gigawatts of capacity turned into 10, and Amazon became the largest buyer in the U.S. as well.

These renewable energy investments come as part of Amazon’s net-zero emissions by 2040 goal. But the company won’t get to net zero by investing in renewable energy alone.

Amazon is also working its way into the renewable natural gas (RNG) industry. Amazon entered into an agreement with Clean Energy in April that gave Amazon access to RNG at 27 Clean Energy fueling stations. Amazon could also end up owning nearly 20% of Clean Energy’s common stock on a fully diluted basis.

Amazon is making strides in RNG investments, renewable energy production, electric vehicle orders and other decarbonization strategies. 

“A new level of ambition across the private sector is necessary to accelerate decarbonization of the power system. Amazon’s leadership in investing and adopting renewable energy around the world paves the way for new innovation and the ability to scale at the pace needed to address the real threats to the planet, people and businesses posed by climate change,” Miranda Ballentine, CEO of Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance, said in the release.

Click here for more FreightWaves articles by Alyssa Sporrer.

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