AWS to transition European Datacenters to hydrotreated vegetable oil

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Amazon Web Services (AWS) has announced a plan to transition its European datacenters from diesel to hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO).

According to AWS, switching to HVO could result in a 90% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions when compared to diesel. HVO is a renewable diesel biofuel derived from the processing of vegetable oils, which can include waste cooking oil, residue oils, or vegetable oils. The hydrotreatment process involves heating and pressurizing oils with hydrogen. The move to HVO is part of Amazon’s strategy to reduce the carbon footprint of its datacenter operations in order to meet the company’s goal of becoming net-zero by 2040.

Neil Morris, AWS’s Northern Europe director of Infrastructure Operations, stated that this commitment to using sustainably sourced HVO at data center sites was a step toward paving the way for other businesses and establishing a global supply chain that would accelerate change across Europe in collaboration with other organizations.

AWS also claims to invest in the procurement of HVO that is derived from renewable sources and can be traced back to their origins, rather than sources that may have an impact on highly biodiverse areas. The company intends to use HVO at all of its datacenter locations across Europe in the future.

HVO has an advantage over other biodiesels in that it does not require any changes to backup generators and remains stable in colder climates. Despite its energy-intensive production process, AWS claims that HVO is a renewable diesel biofuel that could still reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

Other companies, including Google, NorthC, and Microsoft, are looking to replace diesel in their datacenters with renewable alternatives.

The sources for this piece include an article in TheRegister.

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