When Amazon announced it was buying up half the output from one of Britain’s newest and biggest wind farms last week, it appeared like good news for Britain’s net zero ambitions.
The US giant committed to buying energy from Scotland’s Moray West wind farm before it was even built, bolstering its bid to power all operations with 100pc renewable energy by 2025.
However, amid the positivity, some industry sources claim Amazon and other global firms are embarking on an energy “power grab” that draws resources away from decarbonising Britain’s homes and businesses.
No, really, we do.
Steve Rastall, chief executive of IG CloudOps, which helps firms using cloud computing services such as those offered by Amazon, says the company’s business model is designed to maximise usage rather than to seek efficiencies.
“The more time customers spend using servers then the more income it generates for Amazon,” he says. “But that also means a lot more power is consumed and so generates more emissions.
“The biggest cost they face is from power consumption so the way to get around both these problems is by buying up the output from wind farms. It means they get a secure power supply at a guaranteed price.
“The problem is that the output from wind farms and other renewables is fuelling the growth of Amazon and its data centres rather than decarbonising UK homes and businesses.”
Therefore, bugger off.