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Amazon announces renewable energy projects to help meet its targets
by Paul Hill
Amazon has announced five new renewable energy projects that will help it source 80% of its energy needs from clean sources, its goal for 2024. The five new projects will be built in China, Australia, and the United States. Aside from its 2024 goal, the firm aims to use 100% renewable energy by 2030 and expects to be net-zero carbon by 2040.
Commenting on the company’s plan, Kara Hurst, Vice President of Sustainability at Amazon, said:
Details of the new projects are as follows:
China: A 100 megawatt (MW) solar project in Shandong. Once finished, it will generate 128,000-megawatt hours (MWh) of clean energy annually. Australia: A 105 MW solar project in New South Wales. This project is expected to generate 250,000 MWh of clean energy per year once complete; Amazon says this is enough to power the equivalent of 40,000 average Australian homes. Ohio, U.S.: Amazon is planning two new projects in this state, a 200 MW solar project and an 80 MW solar project. Virginia, U.S.: A new 130 MW solar project will be the firm’s 12th in Virginia. Combined, the U.S.-based projects will have enough capacity to power the equivalent of 69,000 average U.S. homes each year. The announcement of these projects comes just days after Greenpeace lambasted Google, Amazon, and Microsoft for developing AI tools for oil and gas companies. As a response, Google announced that it wouldn't sign-off on any contracts like those going forward.
By Namerah S
Amazon announces two new renewable energy projects in the U.S. and EU
by Namerah Saud Fatmi
Today saw the introduction of two new projects by Amazon, both being renewable energy plants. The Seattle-based tech giant has announced plans to construct an Amazon Wind Farm in the Republic of Ireland and an Amazon Solar Farm in the U.S. state of Virginia. The project in Cork, Ireland, is not the first plant to be established in the region, it happens to be the second Amazon Wind Farm to be built in Ireland. The U.S. Amazon Solar Farm will be the seventh such plant to be constructed in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Upon completion, the second Irish Amazon Wind Farm is expected to supply 23.2 megawatts (MW) of renewable capacity and generate 68,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of eco-friendly energy per year. Meanwhile, the American Amazon Solar Farm is expected to yield 45 megawatts (MW) of renewable capacity and produce 100,000 megawatt-hours (MWh) of green energy every year.
Kara Hurst, Director of Sustainability at Amazon, stated:
Both the new renewable projects are expected to launch clean energy production at some point next year, in 2020. The energy generated by the farms will be used to power Amazon Web Services data centres.
Richard Bruton, Ireland’s Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, commended Amazon's commitment to renewable projects in the country, stating that he is looking forward to "continuing to work with AWS as we strive to make Ireland a leader in the renewable energy space".
Virginia Senator Mark R. Warner had similar feelings about the company's move, commenting that the Amazon Solar Farm in Virginia will not only contribute to the environment but also better the economy by creating jobs in rural areas as it has in the past.
Virginia, U.S., becomes one of the first states to make deepfake revenge porn illegal
by Paul Hill
It’s now illegal to share deepfake photos and videos of people without their consent in Virginia after a new amendment to a law came into effect. The law, which was originally introduced in 2014, only covered revenge porn but was updated to include the digital trickery known as deepfakes where someone’s face is digitally attached to another body.
The law passed through Virginia’s General Assembly in March and was signed into law by the state’s governor, Ralph Northam in the same month. While the state is one of the first places to put such a law into effect, other places are hot on Virginia’s heels to introduce their own anti-deepfake laws.
In the United States, Representative Yvette Clarke (D-N.Y.) introduced a bill to the House on June 24 which would “defend each and every person from false appearances”; if the law was passed, offenders would face fines, imprisonment, or both. Across the Atlantic in the U.K., the government is looking to introduce laws to tackle revenge porn and as part of this is reviewing digital trends including deepfakes.
Deepfakes have been around a while now and have the potential to cause major headaches for different groups of people. While the laws above talk about revenge porn, deepfakes can also be employed to put words in other people’s mouths, such as politicians, with that said, some efforts are more convincing than others.
Source: Ars Technica
By Jay Bonggolto
Amazon granted $23 million in subsidies for its planned Arlington, Virginia HQ
by Jay Bonggolto
Amazon's ambition to divide its second headquarters facility between two cities was canceled when it abandoned its plan to build an HQ in Long Island City, New York, due to opposition from local politicians and community groups. That decision left the e-commerce giant with only one target location for its new offices: Arlington, Virginia.
The company's plan to build its second HQ in Crystal City in Arlington appears to be advancing as intended after the Arlington County Board agreed to subsidize Amazon's project with a total of $23 million in local and state funds. The board's decision was unanimous, but not without having met resistance from opponents consisting of left-leaning and immigrants’ groups who argued that housing prices in the area will soar high and lower-income workers will be displaced as highly paid employees may begin flocking to Arlington.
Supporters of Amazon's plan, however, touted the project's benefits to the region including economic boost, employment growth, and tax base expansion. It is expected to bring more than 25,000 jobs to Northern Virginia over 12 years, for example. Within that same period, Arlington's revenue is also estimated to reach $162 million and $392.5 million over a 16-year period.
As part of Amazon's incentive agreement with Arlington, 50% of new revenues that the district may generate beginning in 2021 will be spent on improving the infrastructure around Amazon's new offices over the following decade including sidewalks and parks.
Source: The Washington Post
Amazon likely to bring second HQ to Crystal City, Virginia
by Paul Hill
Prospective location for new Amazon headquarters via The Washington Post Amazon is looking more likely to set up its second headquarters in Crystal City, Virginia, according to a new report from The Washington Post. The retail giant is said to have held "advanced discussions” about creating a second headquarters in the city which would bring with it 50,000 new jobs. The firm has held discussions with other cities too, but these were more detailed.
While Amazon refused to pass comment on the news, CEO Jeff Bezos told an audience in New York:
The sources suggested that the real estate developer, JBG Smith, has already taken some of its properties off the leasing market in anticipation of the deal being struck. If Amazon does move to the city, it will likely move several hundred employees to 1851 S. Bell Street or 1770 Crystal Drive at first. Potomac Yard, in Alexandria, was another site included in the bid.
If the deal does go through, Amazon and city officials in the area plan to make an announcement as early as this month after the midterm elections.
Source: The Washington Post via CNBC