Tech

Cecille de Jesus

Kumamoto Electric to start crypto mining in Japan using excess solar energy

Kumamoto’s sustainable mining venture is one of many proofs against the energy FUD—mining using renewable energy is just far more profitable.

Japanese solar energy provider Kumamoto Electric Power Company, which announced the launch of its cryptocurrency mining arm OZ Mining in November last year, is set to start using excess solar energy to mine cryptocurrencies in August.

According to a salesperson at Kumamoto, recent developments in the conditions of the energy market in the country has led to more favourable costs for energy, with Kumamoto among those offering the most competitive rates.

“Since the liberalization of the electric power market took place in early 2016, there are more and more electric power companies offering lower electric fees. In the Kyushu [Southern] region, I believe Kumamoto Electric Company offers one of the cheapest rates,” a salesperson said to Bitcoin.com.

The company initially plans to install 14,000 mining rigs in Kyushu in Southern Japan, taking advantage of the cheapest energy costs by using surplus electricity, and shooting for a ¥90 million ($814,815) by 2020.

“By mining cryptocurrencies for the output control of solar power generation, Kumamoto-Energy aims to effectively use surplus electricity,” Japanese publication Nikkei reported in February this year.

Kumamoto’s move to meet the demand for sustainable mining is one of many that attests to a trend debunking cryptocurrency mining FUD—some overblown claims of the energy consumption for mining cryptocurrencies have been circulating. The “sensationalist narrative” has since been debunked by several studies, among them a paper from Coinshares Research’s head of research Christopher Bendiksen, and analyst Samuel Gibbons.

“From our combined estimates of mining market composition, we calculate the current Bitcoin mining industry to draw approximately 4 GW of power. In contrast, the IEA estimates global cumulative installed capacity (2015) at 2760 GW. From these figures we calculate the total power usage of the Bitcoin mining network at 0.14% of 2015 global capacity,” they wrote.

“Overall, we find that contrary to previously reported assumptions, bitcoin mining is largely driven on cheap renewable energy, dominated by hydro,” the research asserts.  adding that fossil fuels are just not a very viable option for miners and are thus, used minimally for mining.

“Fossil fuels are not that popular in bitcoin mining for the simple reason that they are too expensive.”

Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as SegWitCoin BTC coins. Altcoins, which value privacy, anonymity, and distance from government intervention, are referenced as dark coins.

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