Repurposing Bitcoin mining heat can potentially help solve several energy problems
A new report from Arcane reveals the Bitcoin mining potential to transform the energy industry. Whereas ecologists across the globe have raised the alarm about the unsustainability of the proof-of-work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin, in fact, its mining may become a unique energy tool.
Firstly, innovations in chipset manufacturing have helped reduce operational costs related to Bitcoin mining. Due to the low cost of reacting and flexibility to grid demands, mining complements the growth of wind and solar grids, which often produce unstable and non-controllable energy.
Its unique characteristics make Bitcoin useful for many real-world energy problems. Thus, Bitcoin mining can help solve issues related to gas flaring — burning natural gas by oil extraction. Arcane suggests that by leveraging the agnosticism, modularity and portability of Bitcoin rigs, miners can set up operations next to oil wells and make the process both cost-effective and eco-friendly.
The study estimates that a $1,000 investment in a bitcoin mining system can reduce emissions of 6.32 tons of CO2 equivalents per year, compared to 1.3 for wind and 0.98 for solar. However, Arcane research stresses that the Electric Reliability Council of Texas has so far only allowed bitcoin miners to participate in the most advanced demand response programs.
Furthermore, Bitcoin mining can help the energy industry by repurposing its byproduct — heat. The spare energy can be utilised to heat up homes, industries and other applications during the coming winter. Besides, heating accounts for roughly 40% of the world’s CO2 emissions. Combining two separate activities into one process would reduce emissions as well. Other advantages of repurposing mining heat include operational subsidies and lower heating costs.
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