AWS targets Australia with new renewable energy project down under

The cloud giant has added a total of six new renewable energy projects, with the Aussie one bring its first outside of the US or Europe.
Written by Asha Barbaschow, Contributor

Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced it is extending its renewable energy play beyond Europe and the United States, touching on six new projects including one in Australia.

Making the announcement during Monday Night Live on the eve of the official start of AWS re:Invent in Las Vegas, VP of AWS global infrastructure Peter DeSantis said that while it has focused on renewable energy for a while, the company needed to extend this globally as the company increased its presence.

DeSantis said combined, these new six projects are expected to produce a total 711MW of new renewable energy capacity, and will help the company achieve its commitment within Amazon's Climate Pledge, which is to reach 80% renewable energy by 2024 and 100% renewable energy target by 2030.

The six new projects will be comprised of five solar farms and one wind farm.

"I'm excited that as part of this announcement, we have our first non-US, non-EU project," DeSantis said.

This, he said, would put the company on the path to net zero carbon by 2040.

"Our final goal is to achieve net zero carbon by 2040. Major investments in renewable energy are a critical step in addressing Amazon's carbon footprint globally … but 100% renewable energy alone doesn't get you to zero net carbon," DeSantis said noting there is impact beyond just the company itself, given how big Amazon spans.

"For example, to fulfil customer orders it requires us to use transportation … sometimes aeroplanes, which today are powered by petroleum."

This week, Australia's greenhouse emissions watchdog, the Clean Energy Regulator, published its report on corporate emissions and energy data, with Amazon seeking to withhold its information from the public.

The company consumed 243,570 gigajoules (GJ) of energy and emitted around 56,000 tonnes of emissions.

By comparison, DXC Technology reported net energy consumption of 450,000 GJ while emitting over 100,000 tonnes of greenhouse emissions in Australia. This was an increase on the previous year as it had net energy consumption of 207,000 GJ and released around 50,000 tonnes of greenhouse emissions in 2016-17.

IBM managed to cut down its energy consumption for 2017-18, from around 230,000 GJ to 205,000 GJ. It also released less greenhouse gases year over year, down to 50,000 tonnes from around 57,000 tonnes.

Asha Barbaschow travelled to re:Invent as a guest of AWS.  


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