At a time when bitcoin antagonists have not stopped criticizing the world’s flagship digital currency for its high power consumption, The Conversation, a nonprofit academic news source has published a report on August 20, 2018.
In the article, University of Pittsburgh energy technology researcher Dr. Katrina Kelly Pitou explained why bitcoin mining activities pose less harm to the environment than what critics claim.
Bitcoin is not the Real Bad Guy
According to Pitou, it’s not the amount of energy consumed by bitcoin mining operations that harm the environment. Instead, it is power generated from highly carbonized sources.
She explained that the conversation around bitcoin and energy has been oversimplified, with many focusing only on the energy consumption of bitcoin which is still in its early years whereas, all new technologies since the beginning of time –including computers, trains, and planes- have always been energy intensive and become more energy-efficient over time.
The research associate in electrical and computer engineering at the University of Pittsburgh stated categorically that critics often get it wrong when they lay too much emphasis on the amount of energy bitcoin mining uses; instead they should ask questions about who produces the energy and where the power is generated from, because that’s what really damages the ecosystem.
Of a truth, bitcoin miners require a tremendous amount of electricity to mine cryptocurrency.
It is estimated that in 2017 alone, bitcoin mining gulped roughly 30 terawatt hours of power, which is more than enough to power Ireland for one year.
However, that figure becomes quite insignificant when compared to the estimated 100 terawatts consumed by Banks annually.
Renewable Energy Best Solution for Cryptocurrency Mining
In essence, even if bitcoin adoption increases by over 100 times its current market size, “it would still equal only 2 percent of the global energy consumption.”
Pitou also noted that while the media keeps screaming on top of their voices about the energy consumption of bitcoin mining, there has been little or no work done to find out the comparative carbon footprint of bitcoin, as this is what matters.
The United States Energy Information Administration has predicted that the world energy consumption will increase by nearly 28 percent in the next two decades.
It’s however, noteworthy that bitcoin mining operations will have little or no adverse effects on the environment because a vast array of commercial miners are shifting to renewable energy sources.
On August 11, 2018, BTCManager informed that crypto-mining firm, Soluna is looking to develop a 900- megawatt wind farm for its mining operations in the Saharan Desert.