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Use of Renewable Energy to Mine Bitcoin Increases by Nearly 60% in a Year

Bitcoin miners are continuing to adopt green energy as the global BTC mining industry increases its use of sustainable energy types by around 59% year-over-year.

The Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) is a group of 44 Bitcoin mining companies that claim to represent 50% of the global Bitcoin network, or 100.9 exahash (EH). They released a new report on Monday, highlighting many of the findings. The team is also supported by Bitcoin proponent and CEO Michael Saylor of MicroStrategy.

The latest survey of BMC member companies questioned the amount of electricity their company consumed. Of which, what percentage of electricity is generated from hydro, wind, solar, nuclear or geothermal sources and what is the hashrate from their operations?

BMC estimates the global mining industry’s sustainable power mix for the top cryptocurrency is now 58.4%, down 0.1% from the previous quarter. But more importantly, renewables grew by an estimated 36.8% in the first quarter of 2021.

However, it is worth noting that BMC was only established in June 2021, so it is not clear how the group generated 36.8% of the estimated value of renewable energy in the first quarter of 2021.

The data for the new report, self-reported by BMC members, shows that they are using electricity at a sustainable electricity rate of 64.6%. The global Bitcoin mining figures are estimated from the data of BMC members.

Sustainable Energy Mix: Bitcoin Mining and Countries | Source: BMC
Sustainable Energy Mix: Bitcoin Mining and Countries | Source: BMC

Bitcoin has been criticized for its high energy use and high carbon footprint. Accordingly, the mining industry wants to adopt greener sources of energy or other wasted byproducts to counter criticism.

The figures provided by BMC contradict a February study published in the scientific journal Joules that highlighted that cryptocurrency mining contributes to a 17% increase in carbon emissions generated from operations to maintain the Bitcoin network.

The report, which analyzes estimated total energy use by industry, claims global Bitcoin mining operations use 247 terawatt hours (TWh), less than half what gold mining consumes, and 0.16% when compared to the world’s total energy use.

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Global Bitcoin Mining vs Other Industries | Source: BMC
Global Bitcoin Mining vs Other Industries | Source: BMC

The company’s self-reported electricity consumption and hashrate results seem to indicate increased mining efficiency.

Over the past 12 months, the industry’s electricity consumption dropped 25% while the hashrate increased 23% from 164.9 to 202.1 – 63% higher than last year’s mining performance since Q1 2021. BMC concludes Bitcoin mining is 5,814% more efficient than 8 years ago.

Power Consumption | Source: BMC
Power Consumption | Source: BMC

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