With Bitcoin mining picking up steam in Texas, US, its grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has foreseen a five-fold increment in energy loads. In the next two years, by 2023, ERCOT predicts that it would have to produce at least up to 5,000MW more electricity to support crypto mining and data centres. The crypto industry is already consuming up to 1,000MW of electricity in Texas, ERCOT officials have revealed to the media during a recent interaction.
Texas emerged as a Bitcoin mining hub after the Chinese government criminalised all crypto-related activities earlier this year. Excessive power consumption in crypto mining was one of the important reasons why China took the drastic measure.
The state offers a 10-year tax abatement, sales tax credits, and state-sponsored workforce training to crypto miners, attracting more of them, a report by Data Center Dynamics said.
At present, two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency mines are under construction in Texas.
A number of residents from the state have linked this energy consuming process of Bitcoin mining to the electricity outages they have to put up with.
In February 2021, the electricity board of Texas found itself on the receiving end of criticism for mismanaging power supply, leading to blackouts and no heat for days to sustain the winter. Hundreds of people lost their lives during this time due to lack of heat and shortage of food. Even industries were shut down.
At the time, ERCOT had blamed the on extreme weather conditions, which are expected to grow as an issue owing to the anthropogenic climate change.
Residents of Texas are currently concerned about adding more stress to the already loaded power-grid systems.
As per a research report, cryptocurrency mining hardware is constantly running, hence consuming energy.
Between January 1, 2016, and June 30, 2018, the mining operations for four major cryptocurrencies released up to an estimated 13 million metric tons of carbon dioxide.
In recent times however, several pro-crypto regions are trying to power crypto mining with clean energy resources to decarbonize the process.
For instance, El Salvador is also powering its Bitcoin mining facility using geothermal volcanic energy.
Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, has also proposed setting up a Bitcoin-mining facility near a nuclear power plant in Florida. As per a report by Latest News Today, nuclear energy is on the brink of being recognised as a true environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) solution in terms of energy.
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss all things crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music and wherever you get your podcasts.