Revisiting bitcoin’s energy use

Spanish regions agree on tax reductions

Spanish regions agree on tax reductions

As the burgeoning bitcoin ecosystem grows with new individuals and corporations investing in the cryptocurrency, there are also those raising concerns about the amount of energy that crypto miners are consuming. While much has been done to lower the amount of CO2 gases by using more energy-efficient means of bitcoin mining, it is also important to know how serious bitcoin mining’s contribution to greenhouse gases is, and more importantly, how they compare to other industries.

A recent study by Cambridge shows that the total carbon intensity of the bitcoin network is just about 420 grams of CO2 per kWh. This might look like a lot to those familiar with energy consumption metrics; however, it is important to note that this research was done back when China still had almost half of its mining rigs on coal power. In recent months, even countries such as China have made great strides in switching to more energy-efficient bitcoin mining rigs to save the environment and help conserve energy to meet their growing demands.

Low-emissions energy sources

With China now out of the picture in terms of energy consumption with their far more energy-efficient bitcoin mining efforts, the latest research conducted by the bitcoin mining council indicates that one-third of the network hash rate is now generated by low emissions energy sources, and the good news is that major efforts have resulted in the global bitcoin mining industry is now receiving more than half of their energy needs from reusable power sources such as hydro, wind, solar and geothermal energy sources. These efforts have dramatically changed the amount of CO2 per KWh of the global mining profile, which is now down to 280 grams of CO2 per kWh. In other words, bitcoin’s carbon footprint has dropped by nearly a third since China’s initiatives to move away from coal-powered bitcoin mining facilities.

Total bitcoin emissions

With bitcoin’s carbon intensity of 280 g of CO2 per kWh and that the crypto uses up to 9 TWh per year at 0.28 Mt of CO2 per TWh, we conclude that 22 Mt CO2 per year in total emissions are generated by mining bitcoin.

Compare that to the 234 g CO2 per kWh that’s generated by fossil fuel-driven vehicles, and you get a clear picture of where bitcoin mining now stands in terms of energy efficiency. Bitcoin mining even fares better than the gold mining industry, which generates 265 TWh of emissions.

While these figures are not exclusive, they give us a good sense of how bitcoin mining does in terms of CO2 emissions compared to other major industries. The takeaway here is the fact that regardless of mounting challenges, bitcoin has made major strides in curbing the amount of carbon emissions it generates. The most impressive factor in this is that bitcoin miners, especially those operating from China, have managed to switch to cleaner, renewable energy sources far quicker than what was previously estimated, contributing to the significantly lowered energy consumption numbers.

BTC entering the global energy production industry

One great thing about technology is its constant evolution. Bitcoin actually provides a market where excess energy that’s generated can be sold. We are already seeing some countries making good use of their wind and solar corridors by generating electricity for mining bitcoin. And that’s not all; because of the amount of stranded natural gas in North America (the U.S. and Canada, especially), there are companies looking to capitalize on the increasing demand for consistent power in the bitcoin mining space. These major inroads are reason enough for new investors to enter the bitcoin mining space by using reliable bitcoin trading platforms such as TrustPedia, for more information Click Here

Author badge placeholder
Written by