Transitioning our world’s energy use to carbon-free energy resources is one of the fastest ways we can help address climate change, and at Amazon, we’re working to decarbonise our business and have matched our electricity use with 100% renewable energy seven years earlier than we originally planned. One of the most impactful ways we’ve done this is by enabling nearly 1.7 gigawatts (GW) of carbon-free energy capacity across six offshore wind farms in Europe - more offshore wind capacity than any other company according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF).

What makes enabling offshore wind impactful?

Winds sweeping across the ocean waves have been put to use by humans for centuries, ever since sailors first travelled the seas of the world. Fast forward to today, remarkable advancements in offshore wind turbine technology are again harnessing the power of the ocean wind, this time to produce robust amounts of carbon-free energy. For example, taller turbines with longer blades out at sea are exposed to near constant wind, typically resulting in an even greater opportunity to generate more carbon-free electricity than onshore wind farms. As a result, offshore wind power has the potential to meet more than one-third of global power needs, which would make it one of the world's foremost energy resources, according to the United Nations.

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Turbines turn, generating electricity at Amazon-Shell HKN Offshore Wind Project.

Building on the Netherlands’ long history of harnessing the power of its abundant wind resource, it is perhaps not surprising that leading the charge today in this endeavour is Amazon-Shell HKN Offshore Wind Project, or HKN. HKN is both the largest and first offshore wind farm Amazon has enabled to become operational. This pioneering project off the coast of the Netherlands boasts a remarkable 759 megawatts of carbon-free energy capacity, with an expected annual generation of 3.3 terawatt-hours.

“We are excited to see the first blades begin to turn off the coast of the Netherlands, producing carbon-free energy for Amazon’s operations in Europe,” said Lindsay McQuade, our Director of Energy for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA). “We are enabling the development of offshore wind farms to help harness the might of the ocean winds and as a result Amazon has become the world’s largest corporate buyer of offshore wind power according to Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF). We look forward to continuing to leverage our scale to advance offshore wind and build a more sustainable business for our customers and the planet.”

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Another turbine completes installation at Amazon-Shell HKN Offshore Wind Project.

Amazon is one of several groups that supported the development of HKN, enabling half of the offshore wind farm’s capacity (380 MW). HKN is located about 18 kilometres, or about 11 miles, off the west coast of the Netherlands and consists of 69 wind turbines, each with a capacity of 11 MW. Notably, along with other innovations, HKN is using real-time data and intelligent wind turbines that can respond to changing conditions within seconds and help to keep stability across the electricity grid.

Amazon has announced a total of six offshore wind farms, all located along the coasts of Germany, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. Once every project becomes operational, they are expected to produce 6.8 gigawatt-hours of carbon-free energy annually – enough to power 1.8 million average European homes.

We co-founded The Climate Pledge in 2019 and are committed to reaching net-zero carbon across our operations by 2040. We understand that transitioning to carbon-free energy sources is one of the most impactful ways to lower carbon emissions, and it is a crucial part of our Climate Pledge commitment to achieve net-zero carbon across our operations by 2040. This is why we are proud to have met our goal of matching our electricity use with 100% renewable energy seven years before our original commitment. The clean energy generated by Amazon-enabled solar and wind projects helped to drive our company to match the electricity consumed by our data centres, fulfilment centres, and physical stores with 100% renewable energy, and provide new sources of clean power to local communities where these projects are located.

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A crane lifts the remaining blade onto a wind turbine at Amazon-Shell HKN Offshore Wind Project.

“The increasing adoption of clean energy by companies like Amazon is a powerful testament to the opportunity of the energy transition. At RE-Source, we're proud to help more companies to source renewable energy via PPAs. By removing regulatory barriers and engaging new corporate buyers, we can make clean electricity a compelling option for more companies” says Annie Scanlan, Policy and Impact Director at RE-Source Platform, a coalition of corporate renewable energy buyers and suppliers.

To date, Amazon has enabled more than 500 solar and wind projects globally, maintaining our position as the world's largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy since 2020. And we aren’t stopping there. As our business operations continue to evolve and grow, so will our energy needs, which is why we’re exploring additional carbon-free energy sources that can help power our operations as we scale.

Our commitment to sustainability is steadfast, and we are determined to lead by example, inspiring others to join us in this crucial fight against climate change. Together, we can create a future where carbon-free energy is the norm, and our planet thrives for generations to come.

Learn more about our commitment to sustainability, and read our full 2023 Sustainability Report here.