In October 2019 Ethical Consumer viewed the Greenpeace Report ‘Clicking Clean Virginia - The Dirty Energy Powering Data Center Alley’ dated February 2019.
The Clicking Clean reports benchmark global internet platforms and major data center operators on their use of renewable and dirty energy within their data centres. According to the 2019 report 70 percent of the world’s internet traffic is claimed to pass through just one of Virginia’s counties, and dramatic expansion increases demand in coal and natural gas. Less than 5 percent of power generation in Virginia comes from renewable sources.
The report stated, “Since 2012, more than 20 major tech companies have committed to power their global operations with renewable energy.”
“Despite 100% renewable commitments that have had significant impact in driving renewables in other markets, Virginia is an important reminder that utilities will only begin to scale up renewable generation when large customers seriously pursue their commitments”.
"AWS committed in November of 2014 to use 100 percent renewable energy for its global AWS operations . However, unlike other companies, AWS has not included a deadline to meet its 100 percent goal . In 2015 and 2016, AWS signed contacts for six solar projects in Virginia as well as a 72-megawatt wind project in North Carolina to deliver a total of 132 megawatts of renewable energy to the Dominion grid (which powers the lion’s share of AWS’s Virginia-based data centers) . However, since November 2016, AWS has not signed any new renewable contracts anywhere and has in fact withdrawn from a previously announced contract for a large new wind farm in Ohio. While AWS continues to claim it reached 50 percent renewable energy usage in January 2018, the company has remained notoriously
opaque when it comes to publicly reporting information about its current energy use and how fast it is growing, making it difficult to assess whether its contracts for renewable energy are keeping up with its rapidly growing data center energy demand . In Virginia, where AWS’s cloud touches the ground more than anywhere else, it’s matching just 8 percent of its demand with renewable power".
The company lost a whole mark under Climate Change, being one of the worst performing companies in the report.
Clicking Clean Virginia 2019 (February 2019)