Amazon Web Services (AWS) has become the latest IT firm to reveal plans to power its data centres using clean energy, confirming that it has "a long-term commitment to achieve 100 per cent renewable energy use for our global infrastructure footprint".
The company has come under fire from Greenpeace in recent months, after failing to emulate Apple, Google and Facebook by committing to 100 percent renewable power.
A report on the green credentials of web companies from the campaign group earlier this year gave Amazon an F rating, accusing it of being overly reliant on dirty energy and not having an adequate plan to transition to cleaner alternatives.
However, an update published yesterday on the Amazon Web Services website revealed that it is planning to move to 100 percent renewables.
The firm stressed that it already offered "carbon-neutral" cloud infrastructure services in three of its regions: US West (Oregon), EU (Frankfurt), and AWS GovCloud (US).
The absence of a target date for completing the move to rewneable power means the company can expect to continue to face scrutiny from Greenpeace. However, the campaign group's Gary Cook welcomed the new commitment.
"With the world's largest public cloud apparently joining Apple, Google, Facebook and others in committing to power with 100 percent renewable energy, the race to build a green internet may be gaining a new crucial competitor," he said in a statement.
"Amazon's customers will need more information to be sure that AWS means business about renewable energy. AWS should offer a plan for how it will implement its ambitious new commitment across its footprint."
Amazon also said that cloud-based services tend to be inherently more energy efficient than the corporate data centres they seek to replace.
"AWS infrastructure uses rack-optimised systems that use less than one eighth the energy of the blade server enclosures that are often used in corporate data centres," the company said.
"Because AWS pools resources, customers who deploy applications in the cloud reduce their carbon footprint by default and significantly reduce the amount of environmental waste that occurs when individual data centres don't operate near their capacity."
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