How tech went big on green energy
To meet ambitious climate pledges, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft are the top buyers of clean power
Standing on top of a giant wind turbine in Texas, 100m above the ground, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos raised a bottle of champagne above his head and smashed it against the machine. He was christening Amazon Wind Farm Texas, a 253MW facility near the town of Snyder — and couldn’t resist a slight grin at the camera as the champagne dripped down the turbine.
The year was 2017, and Bezos’s wind farm christening, broadcast across Twitter, marked a turning point for the company, reflecting a surge of investment in renewable energy. At the time Amazon was not a heavyweight in the world of green power, but that has changed: last year it was the largest corporate clean energy dealmaker in the US, according to new data, as well as globally.
It isn’t just Amazon: tech companies including Google, Microsoft and Facebook have become the world’s biggest corporate purchasers of clean energy. “Their influence is huge,” says Eduardo Gaminde, director of global strategic customers at Iberdrola, the utility. “These guys have a lot of market power.”..