How Will Amazon’s Alberta-Based Solar Plant Affect Canada?

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 How Will Amazon’s Alberta-Based Solar Plant Affect Canada?
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Summary

  • Amazon Inc announced on April 19 that it plans to invest in an 80 megawatt solar power project that is based in Alberta province’s Newell County.
  • According to the company, the project is expected to produce nearly 195,000 megawatt-hour, which is enough to power close to 18,000 homes for a year.
  • The US tech company also plans to invest in eight other green energy projects across the world.

E-commerce giant Amazon Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN, AMZN:US) announced on April 19 that it plans to invest in an 80 megawatt solar power project that is based in Alberta province’s Newell County.

According to the company, the project is expected to produce nearly 195,000 megawatt-hour, which is enough to power close to 18,000 homes for a year.

The US tech company also plans to invest in eight other green energy projects across the world, including the US, the UK, Spain and Sweden. With this move, the company is set to become the biggest corporate buyer of green energy in the world.

Globally, Amazon is said to have 206 such green projects, which are helping its prospects of becoming a 100 per cent green-powered enterprise by 2025. These renewable energy projects also power Amazon’s corporate offices, its AWS data centres and other such other facilities.

While announcing these fresh projects, founder Jeff Bezos stressed that the company aims at turning carbon neutral by year 2040.

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How does this impact Canada’s renewable energy sector?

In 2018, over two-thirds of the power generated in Canada came from renewable energy sources, as per the Canadian Energy Regulator. Provinces like Quebec, Manitoba, British Columbia, etc. reportedly generate about 95 per cent electricity from such clean sources.

Meanwhile, the province where Amazon’s solar plant is set to be based, Alberta is primarily dependent fossil fuels for its source of electricity and is a large contributor’s to the country’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.

Speaking of electricity, reports claims that about nine per cent of the nation’s total carbon emissions is produced in the process of power generation.

The solar plant Amazon is planning to build in Alberta is likely to help with its GHG emissions. At the same time, it could support Canada’s efforts to become carbon neutral by year 2050.

However, exactly how much of a help this solar plant will be in terms of boosting Canada’s green economy can only be determined after it becomes operational.

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