Bitcoin (Bitcoin) May be the last thing people may consider when considering ways to ensure a clean energy future.Especially at tweet Sent back by tech entrepreneur Elon Musk in May, he stated in the letter Tesla will stop accepting BTC payments Because of the increasing use of fossil fuels for mining.
However, raising awareness of the high energy costs usually associated with Bitcoin mining has not negatively affected the crypto ecosystem-in fact, it is quite the opposite. After Musk’s tweet, many cryptocurrency mining companies came out of wood products to explain how to use renewable energy (such as wind, solar, and geothermal energy) to mine Bitcoin.
It is also important to point out that long before Musk raised his concerns on Twitter, some companies were already using renewable energy to mine Bitcoin. For example, Peter Wall, CEO of Argo Blockchain, a company specializing in large-scale crypto mining, told Cointelegraph that for him, clean crypto mining was needed from the beginning: “As early as 2018, Argo considered working in Al Berta uses natural gas for mining. I am upset about this. I said,’This is not right.'”
Bitcoin mining helps drive clean energy and profits
Since then, Wall has noticed Argo has pledged to become a “climate positive,” This means that Argo’s business will become carbon-negative, rather than neutral. Although this may seem like a daunting task, Wall explained that Argo uses Hydropower mining Bitcoin Mining operations in Quebec, Canada.In addition, Wall shared that Argo is currently Construction of a 200 MW encrypted mining facility in Texas Use wind power from the Lone Star State Power Grid.
Wall believes that renewable energy and Bitcoin mining go hand in hand. He pointed out that if it is not used, the excess electricity generated by renewable energy will be wasted:
“Encrypted mining consumes electricity from long transmission lines and uses it at the source. It acts as this additional load and can run most of the time, and when other peak loads are needed to enter the city, we can shut it down.”
Although this shows that clean energy can be used to mine cryptocurrency, Wall makes a more important point in terms of renewable energy and storage.According to Square’s Report Titled “Bitcoin is the key to a rich and clean energy future”, solar and wind energy have become the lowest and most scalable renewable energy sources to date. It is further pointed out that these resources will continue to become more affordable over time. However, the report points out that solar and wind energy projects are usually built in rural areas that are full of sunlight and wind but lack end-use electricity (nearby loads). In turn, increasing transmission capacity and energy storage is essential to solve such problems.
Not only can crypto mining act as a load balancer that is badly needed for renewable energy, but the process can also ensure the profitability of clean energy suppliers. John Kotek, senior vice president of policy development and public affairs at the Nuclear Energy Research Institute, told Cointelegraph that, for example, nuclear energy is the best electricity supplier for cryptocurrencies:
“Nuclear energy can provide abundant 24/7 carbon-free electricity, enabling miners to expand their operations in ways that other power generation resources cannot. This also helps nuclear power plants operate more flexibly and profitably.”
Specifically, Kotek mentioned that in this case, a key benefit for nuclear operators is the ability to use the mining business as a reliable customer to provide stable income for the long-term investment in the continuous operation of the plant. “This is a win-win for both parties,” Kotek said.
This of course has become obvious, because the concept of using nuclear energy to mine cryptocurrency is rapidly gaining popularity.For example, the North American mining company Compass Mining announced in July Signed a 20-year agreement with Oklo, a nuclear fission startupAfter the deployment of micro-reactors in the next few years, the partnership will provide Compass with 150 megawatts (MW) of energy.
Recently, Talen Energy Corporation-one of the most competitive power generation and infrastructure companies in North America- Announce Established a joint venture with TeraWulf, an American Bitcoin mining company, to develop a zero-carbon Bitcoin mining capacity of up to 300 MW. The first phase of the joint venture-known as “Nautilus Cryptomine”-will include a 180 MW Bitcoin mining facility built in Talen’s digital infrastructure park, adjacent to its nuclear power plant. This means that the Nautilus Cryptomine facility will be located “behind the meter”, providing miners with very low electricity costs.
Bitcoin from renewable sources becomes more accessible
With the popularity of the clean encryption mining concept, it is interesting to point out that new developments are being implemented to ensure that the process becomes more accessible.
For example, blockchain infrastructure company Blockstream recently launched a new service called “Blockstream Energy”, which allows even power producers in the most remote areas to sell excess power to proof-of-work miners.
Blockstream CEO Adam Back told Cointelegraph that Blockstream leases modular mining units or MMUs from power producers and an energy purchase contract that requires Blockstream to purchase electricity on demand. Back explained that MMU is “an independent data center with integrated ASIC, power distribution, network, cooling, monitoring, and management.” According to Back, MMU is designed for rapid deployment and can be expanded in 1 MW modules:
“Blockstream Energy’s goal is to better match available energy production with energy demand. Energy producers can not only control the energy supply they produce, but also control the demand side. This allows energy producers to operate more efficiently and accelerate energy production. Renewable energy projects.”
Back further commented that Blockstream sees Bitcoin as a solution to climate change, noting that mining BTC allows energy producers to monetize their renewable energy generation assets without subsidies: “The ability to sell excess electricity, and Avoid paying for load shedding to eliminate excess electricity and help renewable energy projects increase their profitability.”
Work in progress
Although clean crypto mining seems to be a continuing trend, the industry has a long way to go before it has a real impact on the environment. According to Cambridge University’s “The third global crypto asset benchmark study,” 62% of global crypto miners rely on hydropower, 38% use coal, and 39% use a combination of wind, solar or geothermal energy. As of September last year, the report estimated that only 39% of Bitcoin energy consumption is carbon neutral.
Despite the progress made in carbon neutral and encrypted mining, many challenges remain. For example, Yaron Ben Nun, founder and chief technology officer of Nostromo Energy, a company specializing in cold energy storage systems, told Cointelegraph that although clean mining can of course be used with renewable energy, it is probably not a simple task.
For example, Ben Nun mentioned that mining Bitcoin through solar energy may require batteries to stabilize solar-generated electricity to store any excess energy for overnight use. In turn, Ben Nun mentioned that a lot of batteries will be needed. Second, he pointed out that these mining facilities need to be isolated from the grid or installed directly on the grid that supports remote solar power plants, which is rare in areas with lower power infrastructure costs.
In addition to these issues, Wall also pointed out that the MMU used by Blockstream Energy will require a strong Internet connection, which can be challenging in remote areas.
Despite the difficulties, Wall is still optimistic about the complete elimination of carbon emissions. Back further shared that Blockstream has seen strong demand for its MMU products and added: “This allows power producers to focus on what they do best-power generation.”