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Microsoft bought a lot of clean energy in 2021, beaten only by Amazon

Microsoft Flight Simulator Vl3 Rain
Microsoft Flight Simulator Vl3 Rain (Image credit: Xbox Game Studios)

What you need to know

  • Microsoft has enacted a lot of sustainability initiatives and projects in recent years in its effort to reduce its environmental impact and go carbon negative.
  • It also managed to buy the second most clean energy of all Big Tech companies in 2021.
  • Amazon beat it for first place, while Meta came in third.

What's one thing that Microsoft beats Meta at but can't outperform Amazon in? If you said cloud computing services, well, that's a discussion for another day. First and foremost, we're here to talk about clean energy purchasing in 2021.

Via power purchase agreements (PPAs), corporations purchased a whopping 31.1 gigawatts (GW) of clean energy in 2021, according to BloombergNEF. Of those 31.1GW, the U.S. was behind 17 of them.

"For the second year in a row, Amazon was the biggest buyer globally, announcing 44 offsite PPAs in nine countries, totaling 6.2GW," BloombergNEF's report reads. Amazon's overall clean energy PPA capacity capped out at 13.9GW. Microsoft came in second with a grand total of 8.9GW. Meta, third, with 8GW.

Microsoft Clean Energy

Source: BloombergNEF (Image credit: Source: BloombergNEF)

Microsoft's high standing in this unofficial race to become the king of clean energy shouldn't come as a major shock given the company's various eco-friendly pursuits in recent years. Not only has it invested resources in making its own premises more sustainable via developments such as geoexchange fields, but it's also created technology like the Microsoft Cloud for Sustainability to help industry peers keep their own environmental impacts in check.

Not everything Microsoft does is outwardly pro-environment. It recently ensured the demise of 2,642 trees to make way for a new San Antonio-based data center, a chopping feat the company was only able to achieve by securing an exception from the city's Tree Preservation Ordinance.

Robert Carnevale is the News Editor for Windows Central. He's a big fan of Kinect (it lives on in his heart), Sonic the Hedgehog, and the legendary intersection of those two titans, Sonic Free Riders. He is the author of Cold War 2395. Have a useful tip? Send it to robert.carnevale@futurenet.com.