AWS is switching to biofuel for its backup generators in Europe

Backup diesel generators for AWS data centers in Europe will switch to environmentally friendly biofuel (photo: Amazon)

The cloud provider AWS, owned by Amazon has begun a massive project to switch its backup generators in its European data centers from diesel fuel to hydrogenated vegetable oil (HVO). The initiative aims to improve the environmental situation in the region.

Biofuel HVO is produced from vegetable oils and waste fats. It is a 90% carbon-neutral renewable fuel with an extended shelf life without oxidation.

AWS plans to convert its backup generators across Europe to biofuels, Datacenter Dynamics has announced. The implementation of the project started in January 2023, and Sweden is one of the first countries where the transformation will take place.

So far there is no information on the volume of purchases of HVO and fuel suppliers for AWS, but it is certainly about obtaining fuel from renewable sources.

Importantly, HVO does not require modification of existing generator systems. Additionally, biofuel can be blended with diesel. AWS is known to be negotiating with local HVO suppliers and is also working to expand its global supply chain.

“The transition to HVO is just one of the initiatives aimed at ensuring the resilience of our data centers. We are reducing our carbon footprint and working to achieve Amazon’s corporate goal of zero carbon emissions by 2040,” said Mariel Lindgren, head of AWS Scandinavia.

Amazon recently purchased more than 100 diesel generators for its data centers in Ireland, which will likely soon switch to biofuel. Many other data center operators have already announced their intention to use such fuel. For example, in 2021 Microsoft switched to environmentally friendly fuel Preem Evolution Diesel Plus for the generators in its data centers in Sweden.

On the other hand, in the current geopolitical situation, European data center operators have been forced to store diesel fuel in case unforeseen circumstances arise.

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