Web retail giant Amazon said it is now the world’s largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy after a 3.4GW clean power buying-spree that spanned 26 wind and solar projects in eight countries.

The US-based group said the deals take its total renewable energy supply portfolio to 6.5GW. That would outstrip fellow tech giant Google, which has 5.5GW of clean procurement under contract globally, according to latest figures on its website.

The latest addition to its portfolio covers projects in Australia, France, Germany, Italy, South Africa, Sweden, the UK, and the US, giving Amazon positions in 127 projects globally, including 59 utility-scale wind and solar plants.

Among the new agreements are a 250MW offtake agreement from Orsted's 900MW Borkum Riffgrund 3 German offshore wind farm, which is due in service from 2025. The Danish developer said that is the largest corporate power deal in European offshore wind so far.

In the UK, the plants include a 129MW wind farm in Scotland that Amazon said will be Britain's largest corporate renewable power deal to date.

Amazon will use the clean power to cover energy use at its global data centres, warehouses and offices.

Climate Pledge

Amazon hailed the deal as a key step in its plans to achieve corporate net-zero emissions status by 2040 under an initiative called The Climate Pledge, which the company set up in 2019.

The renewable power spree came as Amazon said 15 more businesses had joined The Climate Pledge, including software group Microsoft and consumer goods multinational Unilever.

“Amazon is helping fight climate change by moving quickly to power our businesses with renewable energy,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon CEO. “With a total of 127 solar and wind projects, Amazon is now the biggest corporate buyer of renewable energy ever. We are on a path to running 100% of our business on renewable energy by 2025, five years ahead of our original target.”

Miranda Ballentine, CEO of the Renewable Energy Buyers Alliance (REBA), said: “The US-based projects alone make Amazon’s announcement 270% larger than the largest corporate procurement announcement from a single off-taker to date.”

The announcement came in the week of the RE-Source 2020 renewable energy procurement event that is this year being held online.

Technology-led businesses such as Amazon, Google, Facebook and Apple have been among the global leaders in sourcing renewable power for energy-intensive areas of their operations, notably IT data centres.

They are now being joined by other industries such as metals and pharmaceuticals as they also attempt to reach stretching corporate decarbonisation goals.

The RE-Source event heard this week that 2020 was a record year for corporate renewable energy deals in Europe with 3GW signed despite the disruption of the Covid pandemic.