Amazon launches three green energy projects as part of Climate Pledge

By Ellen Daniel

Amazon has announced three new renewable energy projects as part of its Climate Pledge.

Last month, Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge, a commitment to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early by reaching 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy target by 2030 on its path to net zero carbon by 2040. It has also committed to purchasing 10,000 electric vehicles by 2022.

In 2017, Greenpeace criticised the company’s environmental impact, calling the company “one of the least transparent companies in the world in terms of its environmental performance” and awarding the company an “F” in its Guide to Greener Electronics 2017.

Last year Amazon announced that its emissions amounted to 44.4 million metric tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2018. According to Forbes, this is higher than Apple, Alphabet, Microsoft and FedEx.

Amazon wind farm purchase to aid Climate Pledge

However, the company appears to be going some way to improve its environmental credentials. In its latest announcement, the company has committed to a new renewable energy project on the Kintyre Peninsula in Scotland, in what is the largest corporate wind power purchase agreement in the UK, according to Amazon.

The new Amazon Wind Farm is due to provide 168,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy every year, enough for 46,000 UK homes, once completed.

Its other projects will be located in the US, with two solar projects in Warren County, North Carolina, and Prince George County, Virginia respectively. They are expected to generate 500,997 MWh of energy annually.

The three projects are expected to start producing renewable energy in 2021 and will supply energy to Amazon Web Services data centers.

To date, Amazon has launched 18 wind and solar renewable energy projects that will generate more than 4.6 million MWh of clean energy annually, which is enough to power 368,000 US homes. It has also installed more than 50 solar rooftops on its warehouses.

To track progress toward its Climate Pledge goals, Amazon also launched a new “transparency website” to report on its sustainability commitments, initiatives, and performance and how this is impacting its carbon footprint.

Kara Hurst, Director of Sustainability, Amazon said:

“In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, Amazon is committed to minimizing our carbon emissions and reaching 80% renewable energy use across the company by 2024. We’ve announced eight projects this year and have more projects on the horizon – and we’re committed to investing in renewable energy as a critical step toward addressing our carbon footprint globally.

“With nearly 70 renewable energy projects around the globe – including 54 solar rooftops – we are making significant progress towards reaching Amazon’s company-wide commitment to reach 100% renewable energy by 2030.”

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