Renewable energy has proven to be a prominent source in Bitcoin mining. According to the CCAF, however, it is not necessarily as widely used as some may think. There will always be debates regarding Bitcoin mining.
CCAF Report on Renewable Energy
It is good to see more research being done regarding the current rate of Bitcoin mining. Often labeled as a “wasteful process”, the electricity requirements are fairly steep. Rather than relying on traditional sources, tapping into renewable energy has become necessary. Doing so is better for our planet, and yields the exact same mining power for involved users.
Currently, the Bitcoin industry estimated over 70% of all mining activity is powered by renewable energy sources. An ambitious outlook, yet one that isn’t necessarily correct. According to a new report by CCAF, there is a lot of interest in renewable energy sources. However, the total number of mining operations tapping into this type of electricity is closer to 39%.
More specifically, the CCAF study finds how hydropower is the number one source of electricity for Bitcoin mining. Wind and solar energy are also moving up the ranks, but have quite the ways to go. As such, the numbers indicate nearly 74% of miners can use these sources.
In reality, however, the 74% refers to the people who use renewable energy on a regular basis. It does not apply to all mining operations around the world. Going by that statistic, just under 40% of all mining energy consumption comes from renewables.
Is Scalability a Concern?
Relying on hydroelectricity has proven to be of great interest to a lot of bigger mining operations. It can generate ample electricity, but may struggle in the scaling department. More specifically, without reservoirs or dams, there are limits as to how much electricity can be generated over time.
Furthermore, there are weather conditions to take into account. Operating in a rainy region can yield surplus energy at certain intervals. Unfortunately, those regions are often not equipped to handle an electricity-hungry operation such as Bitcoin mining.
There will be times when generating electricity from hydropower will not be sufficient. At such intervals, it is crucial to look into non-renewable sources as well. Coal and natural gas remain popular, as they are accessible nearly anywhere in the world.
It remains to be seen what renewable energy can bring to the table for cryptocurrency mining. For now, it remains a bit of a niche approach, despite its obvious benefits. At the same time, wind and solar sources need to be tapped on a much broader scale to effectively make a lasting impact. This is evident from looking at the CCAF report.
Unfortunately, it is not just about accessing renewable energy. There are still plenty of regulatory concerns to contend with. Not every country opens its doors to Bitcoin mining, a situation that will not change overnight either. A lot of work remains to be done, but slowly, things are progressing in the right direction.
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