Aws is one of the largest cloud providers in the world, and its data centers require a large amount of watts, so the long-term commitment is to use 100% renewable energy.
Sustainability is becoming more and more a crucial and decisive part of the strategy and mindset of many companies. Aws has taken a clear position on environmental sustainability and hopes for a positive social impact.
Amazon Web Services is committed to managing its business in the most environmentally friendly way possible and, in addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with the execution of applications in the cloud, is committed to reaching 100% renewable energy use for its global infrastructure.
Aws is working for cleaner and renewable energy sources, in a progressive process that began in November 2014, when American society publicly shared its long-term commitment to reach 100% renewable energy use for the global footprint of the Aws infrastructure.
In December 2017, the five photovoltaic parks previously announced by Aws in Commonwealth of Virginia were put into operation. Together with Amazon Solar Farm US East, these six photovoltaic parks bring 260 megawatts of renewable energy capacity to the grid.
In keeping with the commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy use, AWS has made much progress in this direction and in 2018 more than 50% of the energy consumed by AWS comes from renewable sources. In addition, in April 2019 AWS announced three new wind farms: one in Ireland, one in Sweden and one in the United States. Once completed, these parks are expected to generate 670,000 MWh of renewable energy per year.
In addition to all these projects, Aws also uses a power mix with a carbon intensity of 28% lower than the global average.
Any analysis of the climate impact of a data centre should take into account resource use and energy efficiency, as well as the energy mix. Carbon emissions are a factor determined by three elements: the number of servers running, the total energy required to feed each server and the carbon intensity of the energy sources used for the power supply of such servers.
A large-scale cloud provider usually reaches around 65% of the rate of server usage compared to 15% of on-premise providers, which means that when companies move to the cloud, they set up less than a quarter of servers compared to on-premise solutions. In addition, the efficiency in the use of the energy of an on-premise data center is 29% lower than the large-scale cloud providers using high-level facilities, cooling systems and equipment optimized according to the high-level workload. If we combine all these elements (a smaller number of servers used together with more power-efficient servers), customers must use only 16% of the energy compared to on-premises infrastructure. This represents a reduction of 84% of the amount of energy needed.
This major improvement in energy efficiency results in a huge reduction in climate impact, as less energy consumed is equivalent to lower carbon emissions.
Climate impact improvements increase further if you consider that an average business data center uses a more polluting energy mix than a typical large-scale cloud provider. By combining the required energy fraction with a less intense carbon energy mix, customers can achieve a carbon reduction of