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Amazon Is Leading The Big Tech Green Energy Push

Amazon was the world’s largest corporate buyer of renewable energy generation in 2020 and became the top buyer of any corporation to date in a year in which global corporate power purchase agreements hit a record high, new research by BloombergNEF (BNEF) showed.  

Despite the pandemic, the uncertainty over the U.S. policies ahead of the presidential election, and the economic recession, last year set a record for corporate power purchase agreements (PPAs) which totaled 23.7 gigawatts (GW) globally, up by 18 percent from 20.1 GW in 2019, BloombergNEF has found. In 2018, the corporate PPAs totaled just 13.6 GW.  

Amazon was the top corporate buyer of long-term agreements for renewable energy, announcing 35 separate clean energy PPAs in 2020, for a combined capacity of 5.1 GW. 

The corporate purchases in 2020 took Amazon’s total clean energy purchases to 7.5 GW, which helped it jump ahead of Google and Facebook, which have bought 6.6 GW and 5.9 GW renewable energy to date, respectively. 

For 2020 alone, the second biggest corporate buyer of clean energy after Amazon was none other than French oil and gas major Total with 3 GW of PPAs last year, followed by TSMC with 1.2 GW, Verizon with 1 GW, Facebook with nearly 900 MW, and GM with 800 MW, according to data from public announcements compiled by BloombergNEF. 

Kyle Harrison, BNEF senior associate and the lead author of the report, commented on the findings: 

“Companies in all sectors, including hard-to-abate ones like oil & gas and mining, are feeling the pressure to purchase clean energy and decarbonize. This group is only just scratching the surface on the amount of clean energy build it can catalyze.”

Amazon itself said in December it had become the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy and its total investment in renewable energy in 2020 was the largest corporate investment in renewable energy in a single year. 

“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,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon founder and CEO. 

By Tsvetana Paraskova for Oilprice.com

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