Quint Simon on AWS’s $12.7B Vision for India, ET EnergyWorld

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New Delhi: In an exclusive interview with ETEnergyworld, Quint Simon, Head of Public Policy for Asia Pacific & Japan at AWS revealed Amazon’s strategy to allocate the $12.7 billion investment announced by the tech giant earlier this year in May.

Detailing the company’s future trajectory, Simon mentioned, “As our investment grows, so will our renewable energy capacity.” She added that AWS has already invested in six utility-scale projects in India, aggregating to nearly 1 GWh of renewable energy capacity.

The company’s current projects are scattered across multiple Indian states, including a solar plant in Rajasthan and hybrid ventures in Karnataka and Madhya Pradesh supporting energy needs of data centers in primary AWS regions including Maharashtra, Telangana and the second AWS region, inaugurated in Hyderabad last year.

On the allocation of the investment, Simon further stated that a substantial part of it will go in making these centers resilient. “These are substantial investments: we establish three data center clusters in each state for resilience,” Simon said. This investment strategy ensures uninterrupted service, even in the face of potential issues such as natural disasters.

In addition to their primary regions, AWS has plans for ‘local zones’ in Delhi and Chennai, which aim to reduce latency for clients in those areas.

In 2022, 100% of the electricity used by AWS data centers came from renewable sources. According to Simon, this was majorly due to the policy reforms introduced in the last 18 months.

Simon highlighted the crucial role of the Central Electricity Regulatory Commission’s introduction of renewable energy certificates and the concept of virtual power purchase agreements (PPAs) that have facilitated companies like AWS to diversify their energy strategies effectively.

Given the unique challenges of managing data centers in tropical regions like India, AWS is increasingly focusing on water sustainability.

“One of our current focal points is optimizing water use through our cloud services, IoT technologies, real-time water monitoring, and other efficiency-driven measures,” Simon shared.

The company also emphasizes airflow enhancements within its data centers, seeing this as an area with ample scope for innovation, especially in regions like India, where the solutions developed can potentially be replicated worldwide.

  • Published On Sep 19, 2023 at 04:33 PM IST

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