Amazon announced an agreement with hydrogen and fuel cell solutions company Plug Power for the supply of nearly 11,000 tons per year of green hydrogen starting in 2025, sufficient to power 30,000 forklifts or 800 heavy-duty trucks for long-haul transport annually.

The announcement is the latest in a series of moves announced by Amazon over the past several years, aimed at achieving its goal to reach net zero emissions across its operations by 2040. The company has already emerged as the largest corporate purchaser of renewable energy, and is on track to power 100% of company activities with renewables by 2025, and it has also announced significant investments to electrify its delivery fleet.

Hydrogen is viewed as one of the key building blocks of the transition to a cleaner energy future, particularly for sectors with difficult to abate emissions, in which renewable energy solutions such as wind or solar are less practical.

Around 90 million metric tons of hydrogen are produced annually, although the vast majority is extracted using fossil fuels, which create pollutants and GHG emissions. Significant investments are required to develop clean extraction processes, such as green hydrogen, which uses a renewable energy-powered electrolysis process to extract hydrogen from water.

Amazon said that large purchase agreements like the one announced today are expected to help foster the growth of green hydrogen, providing a signal to the industry to expand the hydrogen economy.

Kara Hurst, Vice President of Worldwide Sustainability at Amazon, said:

“Amazon is proud to be an early adopter of green hydrogen given its potential to decarbonize hard-to-abate sectors like long-haul trucking, steel manufacturing, aviation, and ocean shipping. We are relentless in our pursuit to meet our Climate Pledge commitment to be net-zero carbon across our operations by 2040, and believe that scaling the supply and demand for green hydrogen, such as through this agreement with Plug Power, will play a key role in helping us achieve our goals.”

Andy Marsh, CEO of Plug Power, added:

“Securing this major green hydrogen supply deal with a customer like Amazon affirms our multi-year investment and strategic expansion into green hydrogen.

According to Amazon Vice President of Global Engineering and Security Services, Dean Fullerton, in addition to applications at fulfilment centers, the company is exploring the use of hydrogen applications including fuel-cell electric trucks and fuel-cell power generation stations providing electricity to Amazon buildings.

Fullerton said:

““We already have more than 70 fulfillment centers outfitted with hydrogen storage and dispensing systems, which will allow us to start using green hydrogen to replace fossil fuels. Today, we use that system to power over 15,000 fuel-cell propelled forklifts, with plans to grow that number to 20,000 across 100 fulfillment centers by 2025. That’s just the start.”

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