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Amazon Boosts Its Sustainability Credentials With Document Renewable Power Purchases (Plus Offshore Wind Seaweed Farming!)

Amazon could not appear to be the poster little one for sustainable enterprise practices. It gathers client items from all all over the world, assembles them in huge warehouses, after which distributes them with tens of hundreds of automobiles. The carbon emissions related to all that manufacturing and transportation should be substantial. However, the corporate is a significant client of renewable vitality and is selling methods to scale back international emissions with packages like cultivating seaweed within the areas between wind generators within the North Sea.

New Renewable Power Document

In a current press release, Amazon introduced that it added 8.three GW of renewable vitality to its portfolio in 2022, due to 133 new tasks in 11 nations. With the brand new additions, Amazon now has entry to greater than 20 GW of zero emissions electrical energy — sufficient to energy 5.three million US properties. In fact, that electrical energy doesn’t really energy any US properties, however that quantity does give us an thought about how vitality intensive the corporate’s operations — together with Amazon Net Providers information facilities, Amazon achievement facilities, and bodily shops  — actually are. All that electrical energy comes from 401 tasks comprised of 164 wind and photo voltaic farms and 237 rooftop photo voltaic tasks on Amazon services in 22 nations.

Because of the mixed output of all these services, Amazon set a brand new company file for essentially the most renewable vitality introduced by a single firm in a single 12 months. It stays the biggest company purchaser of renewable vitality — a place it has held since 2020, in accordance with Bloomberg New Power Finance. Amazon’s continued funding in renewable vitality helps to speed up development in new areas via modern deal buildings, applied sciences, and cloud options, the corporate says.

These purchases additionally carry Amazon nearer to powering its operations with 100% renewable vitality by 2025 — 5 years forward of its authentic 2030 goal. As soon as operational, Amazon’s international renewable vitality tasks are anticipated to generate 56,881 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of fresh vitality every year.

“As we proceed to launch new renewable vitality tasks all over the world, we’re happy to be on observe to energy our operations with 100% renewable vitality, 5 years forward of our authentic goal. With 133 tasks in 11 nations introduced in 2022, Amazon had one other file 12 months,” mentioned Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS. “These tasks spotlight the range of our renewable vitality sources and showcase our means to carry new applied sciences to new markets and additional cut back the impacts of local weather change.”

Amazon isn’t slowing down on renewable vitality. It says it has 25 extra clear vitality tasks scheduled for 2023 in Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK that may add one other 372 megawatts (MW) of capability. It can proceed so as to add to its portfolio of offshore wind tasks by investing in two new offshore wind tasks in Europe that whole 280 MW of capability. One other 4 tasks in Arizona, California, and Texas will contribute a further 918 MW of renewable vitality.

Final 12 months, Amazon added a 3rd 200 MW wind and photo voltaic hybrid venture to its portfolio in India. Renewable hybrid vitality techniques can play a key function in serving to India speed up the decarbonization of energy technology and decreasing the price of electrical energy within the medium time period. Such hybrid vitality techniques mix two applied sciences with completely different technology profiles, which reduces variability in renewable technology and improves grid stability. In Indonesia, Amazon invested in its first renewable vitality tasks, securing a primary of its type settlement for firms to entry further utility scale photo voltaic tasks. In Japan, Amazon added three on-site photo voltaic tasks and a brand new 38 MW utility-scale photo voltaic venture.

Quickly scaling renewable vitality is without doubt one of the handiest methods to combat local weather change, the corporate says. To make sure renewable vitality purchases have the best influence on emissions reductions, Amazon just lately led the creation of the brand new Emissions First coalition, which is designed to modernize the world’s main carbon-accounting normal and assist cut back carbon from international electrical energy grids as shortly and in essentially the most value efficient means potential.

“Amazon’s clear vitality portfolio doesn’t simply prime the company charts — it’s now among the many main utilities globally, as properly,” mentioned Kyle Harrison, head of sustainability analysis at Bloomberg New Power Finance. “The truth that it introduced a brand new annual file of fresh vitality in a 12 months mired by a worldwide vitality disaster, provide chain bottlenecks and excessive rates of interest speaks to its ahead planning and experience in navigating energy markets and executing long run contracts.”

Amazon co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019, committing to succeed in net-zero carbon by 2040 — 10 years forward of the Paris Settlement. The Pledge now has practically 400 signatories, together with Greatest Purchase, IBM, Microsoft, PepsiCo, Siemens, Unilever, Verizon, and Visa. It’s a dedication to succeed in web zero carbon emissions by 2040 by constructing a neighborhood of corporations, organizations, people, and companions working collectively to handle the local weather disaster and remedy the challenges of decarbonizing our economy.

Amazon Helps Seaweed Farming

There’s extra to building a sustainable planet than renewable vitality. One promising thought is cultivating the expansion of seaweed, which is a wonderful option to sequester carbon. The issue is, huge seaweed beds can intervene with transport, so Amazon is investing in a brand new thought. There isn’t any business ship visitors between the offshore wind generators within the North Sea, somewhat identified undeniable fact that Amazon is leveraging to advertise seaweed farming.

In line with, Amazon’s North Sea Farm 1 shall be positioned in a wind farm off the coast of the Netherlands. It’s designed to check and enhance strategies of seaweed farming whereas researching the potential of seaweed to sequester carbon. It can also enormously reduce methane emissions from cows when used as animal feed. By finding the farm in beforehand empty areas between generators, the venture will have the ability to develop seaweed cultivation within the in any other case closely used North Sea. There are about 1 million hectares in these unoccupied areas. If all of them have been populated with seaweed farms, they might have the ability to sequester tens of millions of tons of carbon dioxide yearly.

The venture is managed by a consortium of scientific researchers and companions from the seaweed trade led by North Sea Farmers and is predicted to grow to be operational by the tip of this 12 months. The consortium hopes that North Sea Farm 1 will evolve right into a blueprint for offshore seaweed farming the world over. The farm is scheduled to be put in and seeded within the autumn of this 12 months, with the primary harvest — about 6,000 kg of seaweed — anticipated within the spring of 2024.

Amazon is contributing €1.5 million to create this primary of its type seaweed farm and to assist a 12 months’s price of scientific analysis into carbon discount via seaweed farming. The funding comes from its $100 million [US] Proper Now Local weather Fund, which has dedicated €20 million to tasks throughout Europe to boost biodiversity and preserve, restore and enhance nature in communities the place Amazon operates.

North Sea Farm 1 and others like it is going to present a chance to create jobs via the farming and manufacturing of seaweed based products. “Seaweed might be a key software in eradicating carbon dioxide from the ambiance, but it’s at the moment farmed at a comparatively small scale in Europe,” mentioned Zak Watts, Director EU Sustainability at Amazon. ”We’re delighted to fund this venture to assist us attain a higher understanding of its means to assist combat local weather change.”

North Sea Farmers (NSF) has championed the seaweed sector in Europe since 2014. It can work with a consortium of European organizations which are concerned within the seaweed manufacturing provide chain. This contains researchers Plymouth Marine Laboratory, Deltares and Silvestrum Local weather Associates, seaweed extract producers Algaia, and marine contractors Van Oord.

Eef Brouwers, the supervisor of farming and know-how at NSF, says, ”Doubtlessly, as much as 85,000 full time jobs might be created within the European seaweed sector by replicating North Sea Farm 1 throughout the North Sea and re-purposing the house between wind farms. These jobs wouldn’t solely be within the farming course of but in addition within the manufacturing and gross sales of seaweed primarily based merchandise.”

Jobs and carbon sequestration — a match made in heaven.


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