Earth Day analysts have said that the industry has begun to naturally gravitate towards cleaner and cheaper energy sources.
It has been reported that the global Bitcoin mining industry ran on an estimated 58.5% renewable energy by Q4 2021. The preference for clean energy is due to a combination of environmental conscientiousness, political pressures, and an eye on the bottom line. It’s resulting in a sea change that could have ripple effects that extend well beyond Bitcoin mining onto power grid systems around the world.
However, Bitcoin miners in Norway are cleaner than almost anywhere else on the planet, thanks to the country’s access to hydropower and other renewables. In fact, 100% of Norway’s electricity is generated from renewable energy.
The report said that of Norway’s 157 terrawatt hours (TWh) of power produced per year, 88% is from hydroelectric, with wind and thermal force making up the remainder. Miners use that renewable energy to produce about 1% of the total Bitcoin hash rate, according to data from blockchain research firm CoinShares.
Likewise, Mas Nakachi is managing director of Miami-based XBTO Group’s Bitcoin mining operation XBTO. Founded in 2015, XBTO’s mining operation takes in upwards of $25 million per year and claims to be completely powered by renewable energy sources. He believes that “hydropower is one of the most reliable renewable energy sources available to us.”
Wind power depends on the weather and solar power depends on daylight, but rivers can flow all day every day, and in various locales, water can be pumped uphill during off-peak periods as a way to store excess energy to run generators when needed.
Thus, Nakachi said:
“Harnessing hydroelectric power has remained an effective mechanism to maintain the most efficient mining possible.”