20th July 2024

Amazon might not look like the poster baby for sustainable enterprise practices. It gathers client items from all world wide, assembles them in large warehouses, after which distributes them with tens of 1000’s of automobiles. The carbon emissions related to all that manufacturing and transportation have to be substantial. However, the corporate is a serious client of renewable vitality and is selling methods to cut back international emissions with packages like cultivating seaweed within the areas between wind generators within the North Sea.

New Renewable Vitality Document

In a latest press launch, Amazon introduced that it added 8.three GW of renewable vitality to its portfolio in 2022, due to 133 new initiatives in 11 international locations. 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. After all, that electrical energy doesn’t truly energy any US properties, however that quantity does give us an concept about how vitality intensive the corporate’s operations — together with Amazon Internet Providers knowledge facilities, Amazon achievement facilities, and bodily shops  — really are. All that electrical energy comes from 401 initiatives comprised of 164 wind and photo voltaic farms and 237 rooftop photo voltaic initiatives on Amazon amenities in 22 international locations.

Because of the mixed output of all these amenities, Amazon set a brand new company report for essentially the most renewable vitality introduced by a single firm in a single yr. It stays the most important company purchaser of renewable vitality — a place it has held since 2020, in accordance with Bloomberg New Vitality Finance. Amazon’s continued funding in renewable vitality helps to speed up progress in new areas by way of progressive deal buildings, applied sciences, and cloud options, the corporate says.

These purchases additionally deliver 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 initiatives are anticipated to generate 56,881 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of unpolluted vitality annually.

“As we proceed to launch new renewable vitality initiatives world wide, we’re happy to be on monitor to energy our operations with 100% renewable vitality, 5 years forward of our authentic goal. With 133 initiatives in 11 international locations introduced in 2022, Amazon had one other report yr,” mentioned Adam Selipsky, CEO of AWS. “These initiatives spotlight the variety of our renewable vitality sources and showcase our capacity to deliver 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 initiatives scheduled for 2023 in Finland, Germany, Italy, Spain, and the UK that can add one other 372 megawatts (MW) of capability. It’s going to proceed so as to add to its portfolio of offshore wind initiatives by investing in two new offshore wind initiatives in Europe that complete 280 MW of capability. One other 4 initiatives in Arizona, California, and Texas will contribute a further 918 MW of renewable vitality.

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

Quickly scaling renewable vitality is likely one of the best methods to battle local weather change, the corporate says. To make sure renewable vitality purchases have the best influence on emissions reductions, Amazon lately led the creation of the brand new Emissions First coalition, which is designed to modernize the world’s main carbon-accounting customary and assist cut back carbon from international electrical energy grids as shortly and in essentially the most price efficient approach attainable.

“Amazon’s clear vitality portfolio doesn’t simply high the company charts — it’s now among the many main utilities globally, as effectively,” mentioned Kyle Harrison, head of sustainability analysis at Bloomberg New Vitality Finance. “The truth that it introduced a brand new annual report of unpolluted vitality in a yr 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 Local weather Pledge in 2019, committing to succeed in net-zero carbon by 2040 — 10 years forward of the Paris Settlement. The Pledge now has almost 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 firms, organizations, people, and companions working collectively to deal with the local weather disaster and clear up the challenges of decarbonizing our economic system.

Amazon Helps Seaweed Farming

There’s extra to constructing a sustainable planet than renewable vitality. One promising concept is cultivating the expansion of seaweed, which is a wonderful option to sequester carbon. The issue is, large seaweed beds can intrude with delivery, so Amazon is investing in a brand new concept. There isn’t a business ship site visitors between the offshore wind generators within the North Sea, a little bit recognized proven fact that Amazon is leveraging to advertise seaweed farming.

In keeping with OffshoreWind.biz, Amazon’s North Sea Farm 1 can 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 significantly cut back methane emissions from cows when used as animal feed. By finding the farm in beforehand empty areas between generators, the mission will be capable 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 had been populated with seaweed farms, they might be capable to sequester thousands and thousands of tons of carbon dioxide yearly.

The mission is managed by a consortium of scientific researchers and companions from the seaweed business led by North Sea Farmers and is anticipated to turn out to be operational by the tip of this yr. 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 yr, 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 form seaweed farm and to help a yr’s price of scientific analysis into carbon discount by way of seaweed farming. The funding comes from its $100 million [US] Proper Now Local weather Fund, which has dedicated €20 million to initiatives throughout Europe to reinforce biodiversity and preserve, restore and enhance nature in communities the place Amazon operates.

North Sea Farm 1 and others like it’s going to present a possibility to create jobs by way of the farming and manufacturing of seaweed based mostly merchandise. “Seaweed may very well be a key software in eradicating carbon dioxide from the ambiance, but it’s presently farmed at a comparatively small scale in Europe,” mentioned Zak Watts, Director EU Sustainability at Amazon. ”We’re delighted to fund this mission to assist us attain a higher understanding of its capacity to assist battle local weather change.”

North Sea Farmers (NSF) has championed the seaweed sector in Europe since 2014. It’s going to work with a consortium of European organizations which might be 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 expertise at NSF, says, ”Probably, as much as 85,000 full time jobs may very well 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 additionally within the manufacturing and gross sales of seaweed based mostly merchandise.”

Jobs and carbon sequestration — a match made in heaven.

 


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