When the US company began investing in renewable energy over the last decade, technology companies were among the leaders. Apple is now 100% renewable energy and is the largest solar energy user in the United States Switch and Alphabet & # 39; s Google has long been among the largest renewables energy users in the country.
Amazon.com (NASDAQ: AMZN) had been behind the curve for a long time, but recently it has caught up. It is now one of the largest renewable energy users in the United States and is increasing its commitment to meet 100% of its renewable energy needs as quickly as 2030.
How Amazon buys renewable energy
Despite having a lot of roof space at distribution centers, Amazon does not spend most of its money on rooftop solar systems. It receives most of its renewable energy from large wind and solar parks built across the country.
The company signs power purchase agreements with developers to buy energy from a new project. Although the energy from the wind or solar park is not sent directly to Amazon, the company is given credit for the power created because it enters the grid.
Amazon says it now gets about 40% of its energy from renewable sources, mostly from 15 large wind and solar parks. By 2024, this figure is expected to increase to 80%, with the 100% target by 2030.
What is most impressive about Amazon's current renewable energy move is that it extends the commitment beyond warehouses and offices to trucks delivering packages to millions of homes across the country.
Taking the fleet electric
Amazon recently committed to buy 100,000 electric vans from Rivian, an EV truck manufacturer it also invested in earlier this year. The vehicles are expected to hit streets next year, with full orders in operation by 2024.
As part of this commitment, renewable energy will be purchased to power its EV fleet. This is where Amazon could really impact both emissions and the transition to cleaner energy.
About 66% of the crude oil consumed in the United States goes in vehicles, so it is the greatest opportunity to reduce oil consumption. And it's a huge potential market for EVs. If headwinds such as Amazon's order continue to drive the industry, it can burn internal combustion engines for cost-effectiveness, and then it doesn't look back.
Amazon takes the lead in renewable energy
With a commitment to 100% renewable energy use and the world's largest EV fleet in the pipeline, Amazon just became a leader in renewable energy. It is a major shift for the company and can be a seismic change for the economy given the company's vast scope in retail and technology. And if the Rivian order helps make EV trucks cheaper, it could force competitors to follow the path Amazon is going.