According to a study by Bankless Times, the carbon footprint created by Bitcoin mining globally represents 0.19%, which is the same amount that the Czech Republic emits as a whole country.
Data collected since 2018 shows that there will be a 150% increase in Bitcoin mining energy consumption during 2021. As of February 2022, the total energy consumed for Bitcoin mining is 200 terawatt-hours.
Bitcoin Power Consumption Chart (via banklesstimes.com)
Chinese stocks also fueled the rise. Until 2021, China was the main mining center for Bitcoin. It accounted for more than 75% of the Bitcoin hash rate and 44% of crypto miners. Additionally, while China relied primarily on coal for power, it used renewable hydropower to mine cryptocurrencies, which reduced the overall energy consumption of Bitcoin mining.
When China introduced the ban on crypto mining in June 2021, most miners had to move to other countries like the US, Russia, and Kazakhstan, where renewable energy was not an option. As a result, carbon emissions from Bitcoin mining increased by 17% in six months.
What is the solution?
Get into renewable energy.
The environmental effect of Bitcoin cannot be denied. However, to prevent the damage from escalating, there have been signs of change within the mining community.
One such signal came from Elon Musk, who often uses Twitter to call out miners and stress the importance of switching to a renewable energy source. Last year, he announced that North American Bitcoin miners had agreed to commit to renewable sources.
I spoke to Bitcoin miners from North America. They have committed to publishing current and planned renewable use and asking WW miners to do so. Potentially promising.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) May 24, 2021
A few months later, he encouraged the community to embrace renewable energy sources by tweeting that he will allow Tesla to resume Bitcoin transactions when 50% of mining is done with a clean energy source.
This is inaccurate. Tesla only sold ~10% of holdings to confirm that BTC could be easily liquidated without moving the market.
When there is confirmation of reasonable use (~50%) of clean energy by miners with a positive future trend, Tesla will resume Bitcoin transactions.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 13, 2021
Another notable action came from a Costa Rican hydroelectric plant being transformed into a green Bitcoin mining facility. The hydroelectric plant had been active for the last 30 years when the Costa Rican government recently refused to buy its power because there was already a surplus of renewable energy.
The plant’s owner, Eduardo Kopper, began looking for other opportunities when he came across a need for green energy in Bitcoin mining to sustain his workers. He immediately decided to transform and claimed that it was the best decision he had ever made.
According to a recent study, major traditional energy companies are getting involved in Bitcoin mining. Investing in renewable energy sources that can be used for Bitcoin mining presents a unique investment opportunity for these companies.
Is everyone on board?
Some Scandinavian countries argue that directing renewable energy sources to crypto mining is wrong, as it diverts renewable energy that could be used to decarbonize other sectors. Instead, they say that renewable sources should be spent in the required fields that cause the most significant environmental damage.
For example, Iceland uses its geothermal and hydroelectric power to generate almost 100% of its electricity. The EU recently decided to attract energy-intensive industries to the island to take advantage of cheap energy. This promotion is sure to attract miners to the neighborhood.
One of the first mining companies in Iceland, the founder of Genesis Mining, Philip Salter, stated:
“There are no political or geopolitical risks, the infrastructure is very reliable, and the electricity is sustainable and incredibly cheap.”
However, Iceland is not enthusiastic about the idea. The CEO of Iceland’s state hydropower plant, Hordur Arnarson, stated that Iceland is reaching its limits and does not have enough surplus energy for a crypto mining plant.
In addition, energy analysts warn that the delicate situation in Iceland applies to all the countries in the Scandinavian area.
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This post Bitcoin’s Global Carbon Footprint Represents 0.19%, Is Green Energy the Solution?
was published first on https://cryptoslate.com/bitcoins-global-carbon-footprint-accounts-for-0-19-is-green-energy-the-solution/