This marriage has to happen at some point.
Ironically, although blockchain technology can be used to optimize the distribution of energy, blockchains themselves use a lot of electricity. And as they make it to mainstream industry use, scaling entails a proportionate growth in energy consumption. This conundrum has not gone unnoticed, with some saying blockchains are “energy hogs.”
In fact, several studies have even attempted to compare the energy consumption of blockchain mining with the traditional financial system in its entirety. Some assert that Bitcoin and Ethereum mining combined consume the same amount of energy as Jordan, Iceland, and Syria.
Regardless of whether this is true or not, there’s no reason why we can’t think forward and consider the industry’s sustainability before any substantial problems are even proven. While blockchain mining does require a lot of energy, more and more developments rise in the renewable energy sector, making it more reliable and stable. It’s only a matter of time before clean energy supply becomes a very convenient, responsible, and substantially profitable ally to blockchain mining. A marriage between these two is a pleasant inevitability. The question is: which startups will take part in making this happen?
Although the movement of the cryptocurrency trading market attracts more and more people, supporting infrastructure is also in need of newcomers. There’s a huge deficiency in entrepreneurs who intend to get serious on building projects related to blockchains.
In an article for Greentech Media, Tam Hunt, owner of Community Renewable Solutions LLC and author of Solar: Why Our Energy Future Is So Bright outlines how a tie-up between solar power and Bitcoin mining could be very profitable: you don’t even need to find buyers for the energy you produce—they are converted to bitcoins on their own. Instant “solar-powered money,” as some put it. Some refute this scenario, but a few startups (and individuals) have already been proving Hunt’s point for years now.
Nasty Mining was established in 2012 specifically for this purpose: they are mining BTC’s using wind and solar energy. There’s also HydroMiner, which as its name suggests, harnesses hydropower to mine cryptocurrencies. Motherboard recently featured Berlin-based artist Julian Oliver, whose “wind-powered mining rig literally pulls money from thin air,” a project he calls Harvest.
And although these people had a head start in the game, remember that there is an entire world in need of supporting infrastructure. There’s no reason budding entrepreneurs can’t get in on the advocacy, particularly in regions of the world where there’s heavy blockchain mining going on (or heavy mining activity anticipated) with no established renewable energy providers.
Definitely there is a market waiting to be served, although this isn’t to say taking a piece of that pie would be an easy task. But it is definitely an effort worth taking a shot at, both for profit and for the greater good.