Whatâ€™s Next for Cryptocurrency and Renewable Energy Solutions
Since the crypto-blockchain boom began, there has been growing concern about how much energy mining requires, and how it is contributing to climate change. There is no accurate way to determine precisely how much energy it consumes, primarily because there are limited regulations, hence minimal quantitative reporting. Nevertheless, the crypto world does need to respond to these concerns with actionable renewable energy solutions in order to both protect the environment and ensure the viability of the mining industry.
The challenge at hand is that mining energy consumption is projected to only increase exponentially in the future. This is due to the inherent nature of mining: as more blocks are solved, the algorithm for solving each block gets increasingly difficult, thus requiring more computing power and more energy to run the Rigs.
In a recent Washington Post article, the reporters shared several experts thoughts on Bitcoin’s energy consumption; the article highlighted how they believe as much as 1 to 4 gigawatts of electricity (roughly the output of one to three nuclear reactors,) is being used for mining cryptocurrency. Yet, this amount is less than 1% of U.S. electricity alone and no more than 0.14% of global electricity generation. One could still argue, however, that electricity generated by fossil fuels alone is not a viable source of energy for this degree of consumption. Mining companies are aware of the high environmental cost of operations and are working to move away from fossil fuel energy use and find cheaper and more greener ways to mine.
The most obvious route to a solution is experimenting with renewable energy. Although this may not reduce the energy expended on mining, it decreases the negative effects to the environment and mitigates costs since renewable energy is often cheaper than fossil fuel. Thus, mining companies are beginning to use different forms of clean energy in an attempt to deviate from fossil fuels.
Miners are also becoming increasingly creative in applying renewables. Some are using wind and solar energy to directly power their rigs, others are creating coins that can be traded for green energy sources. Mining companies, like HashChain, are also capitalizing on cheap and efficient hydropower. There are even companies that are experimenting with using mechanical energy from bikes to power mining rigs.
HashChain is contributing to solving this challenge by actively looking for new Rigs on the market that reduce the amount of energy required to mine at high hash rates. Additionally, the company is setting up more mining locations in places with cold climates to lead to more natural methods of cooling mining Rigs. While all mining companies have yet to adopt renewable energy solutions, we are beginning to see proactive steps in the right direction for this sector.