Greenpeace says tech companies need to push harder for renewable energy

Amazon, Apple

According to a new report from Greenpeace, tech companies – especially Amazon – need to do more to overcome resistance to renewable energy from stubborn monopolies.

“Tech companies are increasingly turning to the smart choice of renewable energy to power the internet, but they’re hitting a wall of stubborn monopoly power companies that refuse to switch to 21st century sources of energy,” says Gary Cook, Senior IT Analyst for Greenpeace USA.

“Internet companies need to work together to push utilities and policymakers to provide them with 100% renewable energy and avoid the creation of a dirty internet.”

The report, ‘Clicking Clean: A Guide to Building the Green Internet,’ also highlights the continued lack of transparency by cloud giant Amazon Web Services (AWS). AWS has taken some significant steps over the last year, including committing to power its operations with 100% renewable energy, it claims, but the lack of basic transparency about its energy use is a growing concern for its customers.

“Amazon needs to provide more information about its data center footprint and how it will move toward 100% renewable energy, as Apple, Google, and Facebook have done – its rapid expansion in coal dependent Virginia should be a concern to its customers like Netflix and Pinterest who are fully dependent on Amazon for their online operations,” says Cook. “Increased transparency will allow AWS customers to know where they and AWS stand on their journey to 100% renewable energy.”

The report found that Apple continues to be the most aggressive in powering its data centre operations with renewable energy. Despite continued rapid growth, Apple appears to have kept pace with its supply of renewable energy, maintaining its claim of a 100% renewably powered cloud for another year, followed by Yahoo, Facebook and Google with 73%, 49% and 46% clean energy respectively. Greenpeace found that Amazon’s current investments would deliver an energy mix of 23% renewable energy for its operations.

Apple continues to lead the way toward a green internet with several major renewable energy investments announced in the last year, including an $850 million deal to power its operations in California – the largest ever non-utility solar deal.


Chris Price
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