Bitcoin Mining Is Good For The Energy Grid And Good For The Environment
Here’s a nice essay with a lot of points to rebut the accusations that so many wrongly attribute to Bitcoin being bad for the environmwnt
This week, the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works (EPW) will hold a hearing on digital assets and the environment. This hearing will almost exclusively focus on the energy use from Bitcoin’s proof-of-work mining process.
At its simplest, Bitcoin data centers (also known as miners) use computers to secure the Bitcoin network and process transactions. For this work they are rewarded in bitcoin (BTC). Critics have highlighted the large amount of energy use of bitcoin miners and argued that governments should either clamp down on bitcoin mining or force miners to switch away from the proof-of-work protocol and operate in a less energy-intensive fashion.
This critique lacks important context, such as the fact that more energy is lost in transmission and distribution of electricity than the entire Bitcoin network uses annually. Having governments clamp down on Bitcoin’s energy usage or attempting to switch how transactions are processed would not only undermine the Bitcoin network but also impede energy innovation, positive environmental outcomes and economic opportunity in America.
Bitcoin can drive renewable energy innovation
Bitcoin has the potential to expand renewable energy generation. Renewable energy currently struggles with reliability, cost and use of electricity throughout American power grids. Bitcoin mining provides a solution to each of these issues.
Solar and wind energy are intermittent because they only produce energy when the sun is shining and the wind is blowing. Much of this energy is generated when demand is low, and if this energy is not stored in batteries it is simply wasted or “curtailed.” Currently, the state of California is on track to curtail 5 million megawatt hours by 2030. This is more energy than the bottom 36 nations use combined. Bitcoin miners stand ready to purchase excess energy from wind and solar farms, improving the revenue for renewable generation and preventing taxpayers from subsidizing the generation of energy. A win-win.