Tech 20 July 2018Dennis Wafula
Quebec wants crypto miners to pay more for electricity
To ensure the consistency of power supply amid the growing number of blockchain-related activities in Quebec, energy regulators have given the green light to temporarily hike electricity prices for cryptocurrency mining operators and firms in the Canadian province.
In a 45-page decision, Régie de l’énergie approved Hydro-Quebec’s proposal to have cryptocurrency miners pay CAD0.15 per kilowatt-hour, which is double the price that residential and other utility customers are required to pay, the Montreal Gazette reported.
“The Régie considers that the rates and conditions … will ensure the security of electricity supply in the particular context of massive, sudden, unexpected and simultaneous demands for the use of blockchain technology, including mining cryptocurrencies,” according to the report, quoting the regulator’s decision.
The “temporary deterrent tariff” will apply to crypto miners until proper regulations for the cryptocurrency industry are put in place. Quebec will start hearings in August to discuss regulations on cryptocurrency mining. The new rates, however, will only cover operators who have reached agreements with the province’s municipal networks after June 6.
According to Hydro-Quebec’s spokesperson Jonathan Cote, blockchain-related activities in the province consume between 100 to 159 milliwatt (mW). The company has also received about 300 requests from blockchain operators seeking to set up in Quebec, which account for 18,000 mW or more than 40% of Quebec’s generating capacity.
Quebec’s recent decision comes a month after the country lifted its ban on electricity sales to cryptocurrency miners. The ban was imposed in March after residents started complaining of high electricity costs. Regulating the industry will allow cryptocurrency business to grow in the country and provide stable electricity supply to residents especially during peak seasons.
Countries have started regulating cryptocurrency mining to avoid high electricity prices. Last week, authorities in New York approved higher electricity rates for cryptocurrency miners in the state.
Note: Tokens on the Bitcoin Core (SegWit) chain are referenced as BTC coins; tokens on the Bitcoin Cash ABC chain are referenced as BCH, BCH-ABC or BAB coins.
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