Technology companies have been looking for ways into the energy market for some time. Companies are investing heavily in energy acquisitions to support their net-zero initiatives for technology development. Tech companies are investing in the sector in a ‘stampede’ like fashion.
Tech Giants’ Energy Buy-In
The online retail giant, Amazon, has plans to move into the energy market. The company will kickstart its renewable energy acquisition with the purchase of 1.5GW of production capacity, which will be the result of 14 new solar and wind energy plants around the world. The venture will take place to eliminate the company’s emissions by 2025. Tech companies are buying up infrastructure for renewable energy generation at a remarkable pace and slowly providing more significant investments than any government subsidies that would otherwise be given.
The energy industry is receiving a lot of interest from a group of six corporations - Amazon, Alphabet Inc., Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., Total Energies, and AT&T Inc., four of which are the largest global tech companies. According to research by BloombergNEF, these global corporations account for 30% of the energy sector, acquired by large corporate buyers.
Michael Terrell, Director of Energy at Google, told the Wall Street Journal, “it’s almost like a stampede for clean energy.” The issue that arises from the purchase of renewable energy is that tech companies are under pressure to prove their practices are in line with net-zero standards. Microsoft is undergoing an analysis of renewable energy sources to determine the optimal times for energy production. “Just because you put a clean electron on the grid doesn’t necessarily mean you’re displacing a carbon-based electron,” says said Brian Janous, General Manager of Energy and Renewables at Microsoft.
Meanwhile, Amazon is the top clean energy investor resulting in projects across the US, Canada, Finland, and Spain, which will see 10GW of energy production. The Renewable Energy Business Alliance has recognised that Amazon’s new plants are scheduled to come online within the next three years, powering the company’s cloud services arm and Amazon Web Services (AWS). Nat Sahlstrom, Director of Energy at Amazon, explains how the company targets projects that would not be able to start with an investment from an external organisation. “If not for our investments in these projects, they would not have gone forward,” says Sahlstrom.
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