Discover how Bitcoin mining supports renewable energy projects globally and learn about innovative initiatives debunking energy consumption myths.
Bitcoin Mining consumes a lot of electricity, sure, but it also finances power generation in all the right places. What moves the world? Energy. What lifts people out of poverty? Energy. And yeah, power generation for those who need it is a phenomenal concept, but someone has to pick up the bill. And, for reasons we will explore in this article, only the Bitcoin network is in a position to do so.
So far, the most successful social attack on Bitcoin is criticizing its energy usage and comparing it to random countries. Let’s admit it, it’s an effective strategy. It scares people. However, the numbers every mainstream outlet quotes are heavily manipulated by a confirmed employee of the Dutch Central Bank. Let’s put that aside for a second and focus on the real question: is that energy well spent?
Considering that, in one sweep, bitcoin brings property rights to billions of people and solves the problem of every unbanked or underbanked individual in existence, the answer might be yes. Also take into account the pollution-heavy institutions that bitcoin substitutes, like gold mines and the whole banking system. Plus, bitcoin mining is paying for all of the power that it consumes. That means that it can fund the creation of even more energy.
In the recent past, the only way to finance gigantic energy projects was by government subsidies or risky loans by supranational entities that might not have the lucky country’s best interest at heart. Nowadays, bitcoin mining is paying for the most impressive and ingenious power plants by serving as the main customer and the customer of last resort at the same time. And that’s what this article is about.
Look at that, we already proved the so-called Digiconomist AKA Alex de Vries and his faulty numbers wrong and we haven’t even started.
Bitcoin Mining is evolving into the cleanest industry in the world, and the reason is not altruistic and has nothing to do with fragile government mandates. Bitcoin Mining is turning green because renewable energy is the cheapest form of energy. However, because of the unreliable characteristics of nature, it might not be the most profitable form of energy for traditional power companies. And that’s where Bitcoin mining comes in, providing the missing ingredient. The money to pay for the whole operation month in, month out.
To set this section up, let’s quote MicroStrategy’s Michael Saylor:
“Bitcoin runs on stranded, excess energy, generated at the edge of the grid, in places where there is no other demand, at times when no one else needs the electricity. Retail & commercial consumers of electricity in major population areas pay 5-10x more per kwH (10-20 cents per kwH) than bitcoin miners,
The world produces more energy than it needs, and approximately a third of this energy is wasted.”
Precisely to counter the already mentioned social attack or, as Saylor puts it, the “competitive guerrilla marketing activities of other crypto promoters & lobbyists that seek to focus negative attention on Proof of Work mining;” Saylor and the bitcoin mining industry created the Bitcoin Mining Council. The BMC currently “represents 43.4% of the global Bitcoin Mining Network with members spread across 6 continents.” According to the organization’s latest data:
“The global bitcoin mining industry’s sustainable electricity mix has improved marginally to 59.9% and remains one of the most sustainable industries globally.”
However, for bitcoin skeptics, believing those numbers is a hard sell. It’s obvious that the Bitcoin Mining Council has a vested interest in the Bitcoin network’s well-being. Aren’t there independent sources looking into the situation?
Daniel Batten was one of the first environmental activists to realize what Bitcoin mining could do for the world. In his latest newsletter post, he concluded, “Bitcoin Mining is currently the only major global industry that is powered mostly by sustainable energy. The simple reason many people think Bitcoin is mostly fossil-fuel based is that up until Q3 2022, it was.” He also informed his audience that at the moment “on-grid Bitcoin miners use grids that are 29% greener than they were in 2021.”
On Batten’s website, the activist and researcher goes even deeper and explains the methodology:
“Using data from our BEEST model (Bitcoin Energy and Emissions Sustainability Tracker), and comparing to publicly available data of other industry sub-sectors, we charted sustainable energy mix over the last four years across a range of industries.
Based on the data, Bitcoin mining is currently the highest user of sustainable energy (52.6%) across sub-sectors, and has also achieved the highest increase in sustainable energy mix (+38%) during the period charted from Jul 2019 – Jun 2023 compared to other global industries.”
Critics can and do still argue that Batten is on team Bitcoin, and thus his numbers can’t be trusted. If only there was an independent study that came to a similar conclusion…
While reporting on the “From Mining to Mitigation: How Bitcoin Can Support Renewable Energy Development and Climate Action” paper, Anthropocene Magazine concluded:
“After renewable energy projects are built, there is generally a period of time when they can generate power but are not yet hooked up to the broader electric grid, so they cannot generate any revenue. Bitcoin mining could ease the financial stress of this phase, the new study suggests.”
That fact naturally leads us to the article’s main topic. Is Bitcoin mining already solving this sort of problems? The answer might surprise you.
The park was in a dire economic situation because the Covid craze stopped tourism on its tracks, and the Congo government could only subsidize a small part of its budget. Who came to save the day? You know it, bitcoin mining did. The park gets guaranteed money every month and, according to Sébastien Gouspillou, CEO of Big Block Green Services, “People say it’s bad for the environment, but here it’s clean energy. It’s a formula that could be replicated.”
“Despite receiving a share of the energy generated by the dam, Paraguay found itself in a predicament. With more electricity than it could handle and inadequate infrastructure to consume or distribute it, Paraguay had no option but to sell its surplus power to Brazil.”
That was until they decided to experiment with bitcoin mining, of course. Nowadays, they get a steady flow of the hardest money ever created and much more. To contribute to the country that’s providing them with cheap power, Sazmining is “erecting electrical substations as part of our mining setup. These substations are designed to outlive the Bitcoin mining era, providing the much-needed infrastructure to distribute power more efficiently to Paraguay's citizens for generations to come.”
“It will also release the community from reliance on foreign handouts to survive. The Bondo power plants were built by Mount Mulanje Conservation Trust, a local group trying to protect the mountain region’s unique bio-diversity, and were initially supported by finance from aid and development agencies — but now Bitcoin covers the running costs.”
Not only is bitcoin helping the people of Bondo; but as the previous video makes clear, the new developments allow energy providers to think about the future and plan accordingly. It’s as Hydrobox’s Thomas Poelmans puts it:
“There’s at least 90 locations that we’ve disqualified because there’s simply not enough demand. So, if now bitcoin mining can come in, then all of a sudden it becomes viable for us to develop a project. It’s a fundamental paradigm shift for a company like us.”
Also, a fundamental paradigm shift for the whole world.
“Nathaniel Harmon and Michael Bennett are both co-founders of OceanBit, the company developing an Ocean Thermal Energy Conversion technique to use temperature variation in ocean water to generate clean energy.”
How does the process work? Refer to the video:
Does planet Earth need new energy sources? YES. And who’s going to pay for their development? Bitcoin mining, of course. This is a quote from the video:
“He is now working on a free-floating 10-megawatt OTEC power plant with Bitcoin miners. The Bitcoin revenue will allow OTEC platforms to achieve economies of scale, making the energy more affordable, a feat not previously possible with isolated ocean power plants before Bitcoin.
Harmon says that the mining platform will also be “sequestering megatons of carbon and creating an open ocean hyper-productive fishery.”
The cows’ waste, the very thing that the ESG crowd blames for the emissions, is instead turned into energy. The farm from the case study can produce between 500 and 700 kilowatts. They sell energy to the grid, but there’s no market for all of it. What can they do with the excess energy? As usual, bitcoin mining acts as a main buyer, and a whole lot of possibilities open up for these forward-looking farmers. Not only that, the anaerobic digesters also produce a high-quality fertilizer that closes the ecologic loop.
In conclusion, the enemies of Bitcoin are enemies of the environment. We’re looking at you, Digiconomist.
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