25/11/2022 – Infrastructure series / Amazon / China / Renewable Energy
GREEN GAINS – Amazon's maiden renewable energy projects in China
Amazon’s first wind farm and solar farm in China are expected to generate enough electricity for 250,000 Chinese homes a year.
AS one of the world’s largest economies, China has made clean energy commitments to help build a long-term sustainable economy. With Amazon’s first wind farm and solar farm in China now generating power, the e-commerce giant is contributing to China’s clean energy future.
These large-scale renewable energy projects represent 200MW of clean energy capacity and are expected to produce 496,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) each year – the equivalent amount of electricity needed to power 250,000 Chinese homes. In addition to the clean energy that these projects now generate, they are also resulting in investments in local communities by providing environmental, economic, and educational contributions.
China has committed to obtaining 1,200 gigawatts (GW) of wind and solar power capacity to help power its economy with clean energy – and the country has already made significant progress on this goal. By the end of 2021, China had installed 1,000GW of renewable energy capacity – more than any other country. More recently, in June this year, China announced new plans to ensure that its grids will source one-third of its energy from renewable sources by 2025.
China–Shandong Solar Farm
Located about 310 miles south of Beijing, in Shandong province, Amazon Solar Farm China–Shandong encompasses 420,000 panels across 1.5 square miles. The project brought significant economic benefits from the $139 million (around one billion yuan) invested, and at peak development the project created more than 800 construction jobs.
Beyond the economic benefits, the project is unique because Tongwei, the developer of the solar farm, also specialises in aquaculture. The solar farm is built around a fishery, and it integrates photovoltaic power generation by converting sunlight into electricity above the water, and safe marine life production beneath the water, resulting in the simultaneous harvesting of both solar energy and the South American white shrimp, sea cucumber, grouper, and other aquatic organisms. The developer also built an exhibition centre, a science education base, and several leisure and entertainment facilities.
China–Qian'an Wind Farm
Meanwhile, the wind turbine blades are now turning at Amazon’s first Chinese wind farm in the northwest area of Jilin province. Developed by CLP Holdings Ltd, the 100MW wind farm is expected to produce 340,000 MWh of clean energy annually.
Like its solar counterpart to the south, CLP engaged with the local community, including making donations to Qian’an county for Covid relief measures, distributing medical supplies to local residents, and hosting tree planting on World Environment Day to promote the importance of environmental protection. “We are glad to support Amazon in the decarbonisation journey,” remarked Joseph Law, Managing Director (China) at CLP Holdings. “In addition to harvesting the wind power to add more clean, renewable energy to the grid, this project contributes to a greener community by organising tree planting campaigns in the neighbourhood.”
100% renewable energy target by 2025
In total worldwide, Amazon has funded the development of 379 renewable energy projects, with the combined capacity to generate over 18.5GW and deliver 50,000 gigawatt-hours (GWh) of energy annually – enough to power more than 4.3 million average US homes.
Amazon reached 85 per cent renewable energy across its business in 2021, and is on path to powering its operations with 100-per-cent renewable energy by 2025 – five years ahead of its original 2030 commitment. The 100-per-cent renewable energy commitment was announced in 2019 when Amazon co-founded the Climate Pledge, becoming the first signatory and setting a goal to meet the Paris Agreement 10 years early by reaching net-zero carbon by 2040.
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