Bitcoin mining uses 58% renewable energy

Bitmain launches new Bitcoin miner with liquid cooling system

Key facts:
  • Bitcoin mining is more sustainable than other industries and countries, says the BMC.

  • The use of renewable energy grew by 1% in the last months of 2021.

Accusing eyes often fall on bitcoin (BTC) mining for its alleged energy consumption and its consequences on the environment. However, 58.5% of the energy used for bitcoin (BTC) mining was generated from renewable energies in the last quarter of 2021, as detailed by the Bitcoin Mining Council in its latest report.

The BMC (Bitcoin Mining Council) is a global voluntary forum in which mining companies and the Bitcoin ecosystem in general participate. The entity, based in Austin, Texas, produced a report that provides details on aspects such as energy consumption, technological efficiency and the use of renewable energies for this activity.

For the making of report, the BMC obtained data from more than 46% of the participants in the Bitcoin network globally on a voluntary basis. Of these companies that were part of the survey, 66.1% said they use a sustainable energy mix.

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Bitcoin mining uses 58% renewable energy

In this way, the Bitcoin Mining Council deduces that, worldwide, the use of sustainable energy for bitcoin mining amounts to 58.5%. The figure represents 1% more than during the previous period, that is, the third quarter of 2021.

It should be noted that the statistics arise from information obtained from less than half of the miners on the Bitcoin network, many of them from the United States. Therefore, until more representative and global figures are obtained, it is difficult to fully confirm the situation of the industry.

For example, for 2019 the use of hydroelectric energy in bitcoin mining was close to 75%, as CriptoNoticias reported at the time. Activity was fairly concentrated in China at the time, so one could even conjecture that the migration of Chinese miners actually hurt the sustainability of the industry.

Even with the above caveat, this percentage of renewable energy use is greater than that of any other country or industry of the most important in the world, as detailed in depth in a prpresentation online organized by the Council itself. That comparison can be seen in the graph below.

mining-bitcoin-renewable-energy
Michael Saylor explained on behalf of the Bitcoin Mining Council the use of sustainable energy in that industry. Source: Bitcoin Mining Council/ youtube.com

Bitcoin mining more efficient

According to the BMC report, bitcoin mining has not only improved in terms of the use of renewable energy, but also which has also become more efficient from a technological point of view. Specifically, this index increased by 9% compared to the previous quarter, with a processing power of 19.3 petahashes generated for each MW of electricity consumed.

For Michael Saylor, CEO of Microstrategy and member of the Bitcoin Mining Council, “dramatic improvements in the energy efficiency and sustainability of bitcoin mining” have been seen in the last quarter of 2021.

According to the businessman, the causes that helped this happen include technological advances related to electricity semiconductors, the rapid expansion of mining in the United States, the exodus of miners from China and the shift towards renewable energies and techniques of most modern mining in the world.

To this optimistic outlook for bitcoin mining, we must also add that the processing power of the network has kept rising in the last months. This hashrate increase occurred even when the mining difficulty reached an all-time high of 26.6 T on January 21, as reported by CriptoNoticias.

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