Who's No. 1 in the Renewable PPAs? Amazon says it is delivering on Net Zero Promises

Feb. 2, 2023
Amazon touted 2022 as its biggest yet in procuring clean energy projects, procuring or building some 8.3 GW of wind, solar and other renewables via 133 new projects in 11 countries

The one-time retail revolutionary which is now one of the world’s biggest companies has doubled its renewable energy footprint around the globe over the past year.

Amazon touted 2022 as its biggest yet in procuring clean energy projects, procuring or building some 8.3 GW of wind, solar and other renewables via 133 new projects in 11 countries. Last year’s series of power purchases and renewable investments brings the company’s total to more than 20 GW –enough to power more than 5 million homes—across 22 nations worldwide.

It also helps Amazon retain its crown as the biggest corporate buyer of clean energy contracts around, according to reports.

Now that’s delivery with style for the commercial and industry energy transition.

“As we continue to launch new renewable energy projects around the world, we’re pleased to be on track to power our operations with 100 percent renewable energy five years ahead of our original target,” Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS (Amazon Web Services), the data services wing of Amazon, said in a statement. “These projects highlight the diversity of our renewable energy resources and showcase our ability to bring new technologies to new markets and further reduce the impacts of climate change.”

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Amazon now believes it can get to 100 percent renewables—which translates to the amount of GWs of procurement, considered either direct or virtual, matching company energy consumption by 2025. Those company-supported renewable projects are expected to generate about 56,881 GWh of low and no-carbon-emitting energy annually.

And it’s not just wind and solar. The renewable diversity, as Selipsky called it, includes an announced willingness to try hydrogen fuel cell transportation and “electrofuels” made up CO2 waste and renewables.

More than 400 renewable energy projects globally hold some tie to Amazon, whether’s long-term power purchase agreements, credits or some form of investment. The renewable energy purchased is getting closer to matching the energy by all of its operations, from AWS data center to fulfillment centers and stores around the world.

In 2022, Amazon announced new projects in Australia, Canada, Finland, France, Germany, Japan, Poland, Singapore, Spain and the U.S. Some projects in Brazil, India and Indonesia could be completed this year or in 2024.

Amazon is followed in the renewable PPA standings by Google, Microsoft, Meta, Target and other entities. Despite these highly publicized efforts, some environmental entities have accused Amazon and others of “greenwashing” their carbon reduction totals by ignoring Scope 3 emission, which is greenhouse gas pollution emitted in the value chain, such as by suppliers and contractors.

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(Rod Walton, senior editor for EnergyTech, is a 15-year veteran of covering the energy industry both as a newspaper and trade journalist. He can be reached at [email protected]).

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About the Author

Rod Walton, EnergyTech Managing Editor | Senior Editor

For EnergyTech editorial inquiries, please contact Managing Editor Rod Walton at [email protected].

Rod Walton has spent 15 years covering the energy industry as a newspaper and trade journalist. He formerly was energy writer and business editor at the Tulsa World. Later, he spent six years covering the electricity power sector for Pennwell and Clarion Events. He joined Endeavor and EnergyTech in November 2021.

Walton earned his Bachelors degree in journalism from the University of Oklahoma. His career stops include the Moore American, Bartlesville Examiner-Enterprise, Wagoner Tribune and Tulsa World. 

EnergyTech is focused on the mission critical and large-scale energy users and their sustainability and resiliency goals. These include the commercial and industrial sectors, as well as the military, universities, data centers and microgrids. The C&I sectors together account for close to 30 percent of greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S.

He was named Managing Editor for Microgrid Knowledge and EnergyTech starting July 1, 2023

Many large-scale energy users such as Fortune 500 companies, and mission-critical users such as military bases, universities, healthcare facilities, public safety and data centers, shifting their energy priorities to reach net-zero carbon goals within the coming decades. These include plans for renewable energy power purchase agreements, but also on-site resiliency projects such as microgrids, combined heat and power, rooftop solar, energy storage, digitalization and building efficiency upgrades.