Amazon to build huge solar energy farms after climate backlash

Amazon has recently announced it will build three major solar farms situated in Virginia, Illinois and Spain.

The investments come as part of the company’s pledge to tick off 80 per cent renewable energy by the year 2024. It also has hopes to achieve 100 per cent renewables by 2030. The farms will power the company’s fulfilment centres, as well as all Amazon Web Services data centres.


A first for Spain and Illinois

The projects are the first of their kind for both Spain and Illinois, but the corporation has already established 8 other similar developments in Virginia.

When combined, the projects are expected to generate approximately  700,000 megawatt-hours of energy annually. This is enough to fuel more than 67,000 homes.

Both Virginia and Illinois’ leaders have welcome the project with arms open, with hopes it will help the state move into 100 per cent renewable and clean energy.

Amazon bites back at climate accusations

While these two cities have applauded Amazon’s investment, not everyone has had such a positive reaction.  The newly-formed Athena – the anti-Amazon coalition – says the development is a “small move” that won’t be sustainable for the company’s dependance on high growth.

Currently, Amazon has more than 70 per cent renewable energy developments spanning across the globe. This announcement, which came not long after Cyber Monday, delivered a stage for critics to express their concern.

Athena CEO Jess Bezos warned the company, saying: “This Cyber Monday, we’re watching you.”


Why is Amazon dealing with backlash?

Despite the organisations long-standing campaign of opening hundreds of thousands of jobs across the world, recent research is calling into question whether the community-orientated impacts are actually all that positive.

Athena’s launch came about after revelations that injury rates at the fulfilment centre on Staten Island, New York, are sitting at more than triple the average for the rest of the industry. Beyond this, the coalition claims it is dedicating itself to stopping “Amazon’s growing, powerful grip over our society and economy.”

A spokesperson from Amazon responded to FOX Business noting that the claims around the injury rates were “inaccurate” and “misleading”.