There’s no doubting that the argument that Bitcoin consumes too much electricity has gained significant public acceptance in recent years. However, it’s easy to overlook the fact that, in recent months, an increasing number of Bitcoin miners have shifted to power sources, that are predominantly powered by renewable energy.
To add to the discussion, it should be highlighted that a number of studies, including one published recently by Cambridge University, have found that more than 75% of all miners working today employ renewable energy sources to power their daily operations.
MintGreen, a cleantech cryptocurrency miner located in Canada, recently announced that it has reached a deal with Lonsdale Energy Corporation to distribute heat generated by BTC mining to inhabitants of North Vancouver, British Columbia, by the beginning of 2022.
A spokeswoman for MintGreen has stated that the company’s digital boilers can recover more than 96% of the power used for Bitcoin mining. According to reports, the company will be able to save 20,000 metric tonnes of greenhouse emissions. From entering the environment per megawatt every year as a result of this system.
MintGreen further says that the captured energy can and will be usable to heat 100 residential and commercial buildings in a Canadian metropolis. With a population of about 155,000 people, according to recent census statistics.
Renewables as a game-changer
Colin Sullivan, CEO of MintGreen, expressed his opinion on the situation. Saying that his company’s collaboration with Lonsdale aims to help reduce and address a variety of climate-related concerns. That people have tended to identify with crypto mining.
According to Zach Bradford, CEO of CleanSpark, a sustainable Bitcoin mining and energy technology company, the relationship between energy generation and Bitcoin mining will continue to deepen and expand over the next decade, with a lot of stranded energy assets in North America that Bitcoin mining is well suitable to exploit.
When asked about the long-term feasibility of a system like MintGreen’s, he said it relies totally on the firm. And that there are two alternatives to consider. “In one scenario, Bitcoin miners set up a business where there is a surplus of energy. I.e., where energy is already being wasted.” Mining, similar to Bitcoin, turns those stranded electrons into something valuable”. “Bitcoin miners improve total energy generation in a certain region,” Bradford explained in the second scenario.
While the latter may result in a “loss” of energy for mining, Bradford claims that when such a configuration is in use, there is frequently substantially more overall energy available. As a result, if one’s local power infrastructure requires that extra energy, such as for heating or cooling houses during peak hours, networks can use this excess electricity to meet their customers’ demands.
Bitcoin’s future is turning more and more green
Bitcoin mining, in Bradford’s opinion, is the first significant investment in decades to aim at bolstering North America’s existing energy infrastructure. Because he believes it not only increases energy consumption but also improves the region’s energy generation capabilities. He added, “This is a key aspect that sometimes vanishes in the ideological struggle”. As electric vehicles become more common, North America’s energy usage will rise dramatically during the next decade. EVs are already putting a burden on California’s electricity system. “North America’s future is California’s present”.
In this aspect, it is clear that Bitcoin mining encourages energy growth and generation. With practically everyone, not just miners, benefiting from this progress. “We’re in for a crazy ride”, Bradford said. “When global climate objectives, increased energy demand from electric vehicles. And monetary policy converge, with Bitcoin at the centre of it all”.
Similarly, Samir Tabar, chief strategy officer of Bit Digital, a Nasdaq-listed Bitcoin miner, stated that Bitcoin miners are and have been chastised for the environmental impact of their operations. Bitcoin miners, on the other hand, have emerged as the forerunners in demonstrating ingenuity and inventiveness in implementing sustainable methods. “North Vancouver’s project is an instructive illustration of that ingenuity,” he said.
The journey of cryptocurrency toward a more sustainable future
According to a report published in December 2020, real estate building operations and other construction-related activities account for a staggering 38% of all carbon dioxide emissions produced in metropolitan regions. As a result, the narrative that crypto mining is rapidly becoming one of the most significant contributors to today’s global warming may be misleading.
To elaborate further, according to one study, hydroelectric power is currently the most common source of energy for miners. With 62% of all mining farm operators reportedly using hydroelectricity to facilitate their day-to-day operations. With exhaustible sources such as coal and natural gas coming in second and third. Respectively, at 38% and 36%, followed by wind and solar energy.
Furthermore, with companies like MintGreen rapidly updating their mining rigs, it stands to reason that in the near future, more businesses and individuals will seek crypto mining operations to satisfy their electricity and heating demands. MintGreen has already formed a partnership with the Vancouver Island Sea Salt factory. As well as the Shelter Point Distillery, a Canadian whiskey firm, to begin selling its excess thermal energy by 2022.
Many regulations concerning carbon neutrality look to be becoming the norm for the crypto mining sector. As the industry seeks to move closer to a greener future. To put things in perspective, evidence indicates that gold mining depletes more resources than BTC mining. Similarly, flare gas waste is projected to be enough to power the whole BTC network 6.2 times. Demonstrating that crypto miners might be part of the answer when it comes to wasted energy.
Finally, as previously said, an increasing number of mining companies have implemented measures. That have allowed them to become “climate positive” in terms of Scope 1, 2, and 3 greenhouse gas emissions.