In addition to the environmental benefits inherently associated with running applications in the cloud, AWS has a long-term commitment to achieve 100% renewable energy usage for our global infrastructure footprint.

Cloud computing is inherently more environmentally friendly than traditional computing. Today, individual companies often operate one or many corporate datacenters to meet their internal IT requirements. Even with broad adoption of virtualization technology, most enterprises still struggle to achieve moderate utilization rates for their data center infrastructure. The result is a significant amount of unused server capacity and wasted energy consumption to power all of this unused or underutilized infrastructure.

AWS works relentlessly to reduce the amount of energy consumed by our global infrastructure. Simultaneously, AWS is focused on increasing the sources of renewable energy powering our infrastructure. AWS operates at a massive scale and has invested in significant hardware, software and operational efficiencies that drives several times improvement in server utilization levels as compared to the average corporate datacenter. AWS Infrastructure uses rack-optimized systems that use less than 1/8th the energy of the blade server enclosures that are often used in corporate datacenters. 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 datacenters don’t operate near their capacity.

AWS introduced its first carbon-neutral region in 2011. Today, AWS offers customers three AWS Regions that are carbon-neutral:

  • US West (Oregon)
  • EU (Frankfurt)
  • AWS GovCloud (US)

January 2015 – AWS announced it has teamed with Pattern Development to support the construction and operation of a 150 megawatt (MW) wind farm in Benton County, Indiana, called the Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge). This new wind farm is expected to start generating approximately 500,000 megawatt hours (MWh) of wind power annually as early as January 2016 – or the equivalent of that used by approximately 46,000 US homes1 in a year. The energy generated by Amazon Wind Farm (Fowler Ridge) will be used to help power both current and future AWS Cloud datacenters.

November 2014 – AWS shared its long-term commitment to achieve 100 percent renewable energy usage for the global AWS infrastructure footprint.

1In 2012, the average annual electricity consumption for a U.S. residential utility customer was 10,837 kWh, an average of 903 kilowatthours (kWh) per month.