Wind-powered cloud servicesWhen Greenpeace looked at how big internet companies were powering their online operations, they found that Amazon was basically bottom of the heap, with a large reliance on coal and natural gas, little transparency, and no commitment to move to clean energy.
You can see the how Amazon compares to other big online players here:
This public shaming of Amazon seems to have worked, because a few months later they announced "a long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint." Certainly a step in the right direction, though definitely lacking on a solid timeframe, and extra transparency so that we can known where they are now, and track their progress in the future.
But despite those flaws in the plan, Amazon isn't sitting on its hands. The company has just said that it is partnering with Pattern Energy Group to build and operate a 150-megawatt wind farm in Benton County, Indiana. It will be called the Amazon Web Services Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge), and should generating approximately 500,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power annually, the equivalent of that used by approximately 46,000 US homes.
It should start producing energy as early as January 2016.
This is particularly important because Amazon Web Services (AWS) is now part of the backbone of the internet; countless big websites and web services run on it. By cleaning up its energy usage, it'll help clean up a large part of the internet.