When researching Bitcoin, the first information highlighted on the web is its ability to consume energy. The Wall Street media consider Satoshi’s invention to be harmful to the environment. Yet, the green transition in the Bitcoin mining industry is real. Although it’s hard to make the numbers speak for themselves, Bitcoin’s carbon footprint is improving, and the growth of mining in areas with solar power potential is irrefutable proof.
Bitcoin mining and green energy, a logical synergy
Bitcoin miners did not wait for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) requires the use of green energies to be used.
Indeed, the main concern for miners is the cost of electricity, as lower cost translates directly into higher profitability for the miner. This is precisely where renewable energy comes in.
Renewable energy offers several advantages for Bitcoin miners: their “renewable” nature ensures continuous availability of energy, allowing miners to operate for long periods. In addition, the prices of these energies are often competitive in many countries due to incentive policies and technological development. Finally, the renewable energies are less subject to fluctuations in supply and demand which provides some cost stability for miners.
Solar energy, an unprofitable and unattractive sector
To understand the impact of Bitcoin on the solar energy sector, it’s worth putting yourself in the shoes of an investor funding a project to provide solar electricity to customers. While solar panels have undeniable advantages, they also suffer from some weaknesses that hinder their widespread adoption.
- Cleanliness and absence of greenhouse gas emissions
- Renewable nature of solar energy
- Low maintenance cost
- Dependence on weather conditions
- Need for large installation areas
- High initial investment cost
- Difficulty of democratization among low-income households
- Reduced commercial attractiveness of large solar farm projects
- High electricity transmission costs for some projects
Fortunately for solar energy, Bitcoin mining exists!
Bitcoin mining offers a solution for making solar energy profitable. Bitcoin miners are indeed good last-resort buyers of intermittent energy, as they can consume only excess solar energy, and even sell their excess energy back during peak demand.
Moreover, using solar power to mine Bitcoin allows providers to make a profit from the difference between the price of electricity and the price of Bitcoin, without compromising the satisfaction of the grid’s needs.
In the context that the cost of producing Bitcoin is approaching its market price, miners using cheaper energy are the only ones who can withstand the pressure. According to the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), 59.5% of the energy used for Bitcoin mining currently comes from renewable sources.
Several examples illustrate this trend. In the United States, Aspen Creek Digital Corp. has launched a mining farm powered by a 6 megawatt solar installation. In Japan, TEPCO, the multinational company behind the Fukushima nuclear reactor, is banking on Bitcoin mining to monetize surplus renewable energy throughout the country.
These initiatives demonstrate that Bitcoin mining can help make solar energy profitable and more attractive to investors, power producers and consumers. Bitcoin is not an EVIL for the planet, on the contrary.
CEO and Editor-in-Chief of Coinpri I have been navigating the waters of Blockchain for 5 years already.
Wait, I can see the Promised Land of Adoption in the distance.