Apr 19, 2021 - Economy

Amazon renewables rollout highlights corporate climate push

a box that says fragile and has a globe on it

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Amazon Monday morning announced investments in several new utility-scale wind and solar projects and said it's now Europe's largest corporate renewable power buyer.

The big picture: Look for a burst of corporate clean energy and climate pledges this week as companies hope to show their bona fides alongside this week's White House global climate summit and Earth Day.

Driving the news: Amazon said it is investing in nine new projects in North America and Europe.

  • They include a California project that Amazon's first solar development paired with battery storage. Others include a U.K. offshore wind project and new projects in Spain and Sweden.
  • Amazon said the new developments bring its global renewables portfolio to 206 projects with a generating capacity of 8.5 gigawatts — including 2.5 GW in Europe it calls enough to power over 2 million homes annually.

Why it matters: Companies' renewables procurement is now an important driver of wind and solar development. The tech industry overall has been the largest buyer.

The intrigue: Companies are using the political spotlight on global warming to tout their clean-tech investments and climate pledges.

  • But environmentalists say expanded corporate efforts are not enough — they want Big Tech to stop providing sophisticated computing services tailored to oil companies.
  • JPMorgan Chase and Citigroup last week expanded their sustainable financing pledges through 2030, but activists highlighted their continued work with fossil clients.
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