Tech

Derek Tonin

Bitcoin miners insist they are driving renewable energy adoption

Bitcoin mining isn’t bad for the environment, because miners are dead-set on proving that notion wrong. That’s the case they made at the recent Fidelity Mining Summit on May 3, arguing that they are at the forefront of clean energy adoption, reported CoinDesk.

Around 300 people attended the event, held at the global headquarters of Fidelity in Boston. Guest speakers continuously pounded home their assertion that they are not an environmental threat.

John Belizaire, CEO of Soluna, a clean-energy focused mining company, noted that miners are primarily focused on finding clean energy sources and will help spur on renewable-energy sources in the future. His company is building a wind power farm in Morocco that will both power crypto mining operations as well as supply energy to locals. He said:

“Bitcoin is at the center of the next great infrastructure that we’ve never seen before. We’re going to go to places that have incredible renewable energy sites…In a decade we will start referring to bitcoin completely [differently].”

Chris Bendiksen, head of CoinShares research department, has been investigating the energy sources of crypto mining. Happily, miners have mostly concentrated in regions that are either mountainous or full of rivers, providing a wealth of wind and water power to support their operations. 48% of all global mining happens in the Sichuan province of China, which gets 90% of its power from renewable sources.

Another 35% comes from Western countries, and much of it from the Canadian provinces of Quebec and British Columbia. Quebec notably gets nearly all of its power from hydroelectricity, and it recently announced it would guarantee a portion of its power supply to miners, so long as they contributed to the province’s economic well-being.

They also noted that they are actively contributing to lowering carbon emissions in some areas. Stephen Barbour, president of Upstream Data, has been working on a system to capture emissions from gas power stations, converting it to power that can be used for mining. He said one prototype is already proving it can reduce pollution by 10,000 tons a year at one Canadian site.

Assuming crypto miners continue with this goal, and why wouldn’t they, they can not only help contribute to the new world economy, but help save the world from the threats of climate change, and lower energy prices, as well. Bendiksen noted, “Mining is a relentless driver to lowest global energy prices.”

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