— Jeff Bezos (@JeffBezos) October 19, 2017
Amazon may not be the first hyper scale cloud company to get serious about renewable energy, but it’s on track now. This video is amazing. Seriously – even with a harness your knees would be knocking. Jeff Bezos looks like James Bond up there.
Anyway, Amazon Web Services CTO Werner Vogels had a tweet with some numbers to consider:
“The 1M MWh Amazon Wind Farm Texas with 100 Turbines is live. It is our 18th wind and solar farm with 35 more to come.”
It is incredibly important that the cloud companies which do so much to power our modern economy invest heavily in renewables to drive capacity up and prices down. The future has to be based on renewable energy. Amazon has been using its purchasing clout to shall we say – “encourage” – legacy energy companies to get with the program.
It’s been a pretty good week for renewable power, particularly when it comes the re-purposing of oil and gas expertise. The world’s first floating wind farm went live in Scotland, in a project by Statoil, the Norwegian oil and gas company. Five turbines will generate enough power for about 20,000 homes.
The Great Transition is proceeding apace. Dong Energy, originally an acronym for Danish Oil and Natural Gas, this month sold off the last of its oil and gas-related assets and announced it will rename itself Ørsted. It will become a 100% Renewable Energy company. The new name is taken from 19th-century Danish scientist Hans Christian Ørsted. He discovered that electric fields create magnetism, discovered how to isolate metallic aluminium (using electricity), and founded the Technical University of Denmark. Not a bad career. I am ashamed to admit I don’t even remember learning his name in science at school. I am glad I won’t be able to forget it in future. This video about him is charming.
Henrik Poulsen, Group CEO of the soon to be renamed company (pending a shareholder vote) said:
“2017 will be remembered as the year when offshore wind became cheaper than black energy, as demonstrated by the recent tenders for offshore wind in Germany and the UK. It has never been more clear that it is possible to create a world that runs entirely on green energy. The time is now right for us to change our name to demonstrate that we want to help create such a world.”
The changes we need to make need to be changes at scale. I am glad companies like Amazon, Ørsted, and Statoil are working on it. To close, when we talk about scale the new turbines are absolutely bonkers. Michael Liebreich has been doing amazing work explaining the new realities of renewable energy. Check out this image of just how crazy big the turbines are getting. This is an industrial revolution and it can’t come soon enough.
AWS is a client.