Amazon has invested in 24 utility-scale wind and solar projects in Europe this year. It has also installed solar panels on the roofs of fifteen of its own buildings, adding up to 39 new renewable energy projects in the bloc, providing more than one gigawatt of clean energy capacity.
The new projects announced this week include 15 rooftop solar installations on Amazon facilities in Belgium, France, Italy, Spain, and the UK, and 24 utility-scale wind and solar projects in Finland, Germany, Spain, Sweden, and the UK, as well as the company's first solar farm in Greece.
“With more than 160 wind and solar projects in Europe, Amazon is helping to provide new sources of clean energy to local grids, creating jobs, and supporting local businesses as we progress toward powering our operations with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025,” said Lindsay McQuade, director of energy, EMEA at Amazon. “Corporate investment is an important catalyst to help transition toward a clean energy future, and we look forward to continuing to work with governments, local communities, and energy providers across Europe to deliver more renewable energy into local grids.”
Amazon is the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy both in Europe and globally.
Amazon aims to power all its operations, including Amazon Web Services (AWS) data centers, fulfillment centers, and physical stores, with 100 percent renewable energy by 2025.
The company said it had reached 90 percent of that goal last year, however it has been criticized for a lack of transparency. Amazon's power purchase agreements (PPAs) don't match its hourly energy usage, which reduces their environmental benefit.
Some critics have questioned the value of PPAs – especially those that aren’t matched on an hourly basis. Though some operators including Google, Microsoft, and Iron Mountain are pursuing a 24/7 matching strategy, AWS is yet to announce such plans.