Amazon knocks Google off top spot as 'world's biggest' renewable energy buyer

With the addition of 26 new utility-scale wind and solar projects in Australia, South Africa, Europe and the US, Amazon now sources output from 6.5GW of renewable energy projects

Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos claimed the retail giant's new PPAs made it "the biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy ever"

Online retail behemoth Amazon now has 127 renewable energy projects taking its renewable energy investments to supply 6.5 GW capacity, the company has announced.

This means Amazon is the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, it claimed.

The deal comes as part of its commitment to being net-zero carbon by 2040, 10 years ahead of the target date of the Paris Agreement.

Google had previously said it was the first company to match 100% of its electricity use with renewable energy sources. In 2017, the search giant bought more than 7TWh of electricity, which was matched in 2019 to take Google's supply from 5.5GW of renewable energy capacity.

Amazon's new projects will supply renewable energy for its corporate offices, fulfilment centres, and Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centres that support millions of customers globally. 

The deal includes buying output from a 250MW portion of Ørsted's planned 913MW Borkum Riffgrund 3 wind farm, while BP's energy trading arm will also supply output from 404MW of new wind farms in Sweden and Scotland.

Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO said: “With a total of 127 solar and wind projects, Amazon is now the biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy ever. We are on a path to running 100% of our business on renewable energy by 2025 — five years ahead of our original target of 2030. This is just one of the many steps we’re taking that will help us meet our Climate Pledge.”

In the US, the retail giant has wind and solar projects in California, Delaware, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Nebraska, North Carolina, Ohio, Texas, and Virginia. Amazon has a total of 127 renewable energy projects globally, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar renewable energy projects and 68 solar rooftops on fulfilment centres and sort centres around the globe.

Miranda Ballentine, CEO of Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (Reba) said: “Private sector investment is essential to scaling renewable energy at the pace necessary to drive global climate action.

“The US-based projects alone make Amazon’s announcement 270% larger than the largest corporate procurement announcement from a single off-taker to date, and showcase the company’s leadership and commitment to a clean and prosperous energy future.”

Last year, Amazon and Global Optimism co-founded The Climate Pledge, a commitment to reach the Paris Agreement 10 years early and be net-zero carbon by 2040. The pledge now has 31 signatories, including Unilever, Verizon, Siemens, Microsoft, and Best Buy. 

Gregory Wetstone, President and CEO, American Council on Renewable Energy (Acore) said: “With an impressive 35 major new renewable projects in 2020, Amazon deserves tremendous credit for its leadership in the global shift to renewable energy. Procuring more than 4,000MW of new renewable power in a single year is an incredible achievement, and it marks big progress toward Amazon’s goal of being powered by 100% renewable power.”