- According to a recent report, Bitcoin’s energy consumption over the past year is said to have surpassed Sweden’s. According to the report, the 90 million tons of CO2 emissions wiped out any net gains from electric vehicles.
- Meanwhile, renewable approaches to mining are winning in the energy mix ratio.
Throughout 2022, global bitcoin mining spent 161 TWh of electricity, according to Digiconomist. The skeptical tech platform said that amount of electricity exceeds the annual consumption of a country like Sweden. Last year, the 93 million or so transactions on the Bitcoin network ended up using an average of 1,738 kWh of electricity. One could have powered an average American home for two months, Digiconomist added. Incidentally, although the number of transactions has decreased since 2021, the share of Bitcoin in global electricity consumption has increased to 0.64%. A single bitcoin transaction last year produced about 969 kilograms of CO2, according to Digiconomist. This is equivalent to a one-way flight from New York to Sydney’s carbon footprint per passenger. Digiconomist said that the total annual CO2 emissions of 90 megatons effectively negated all global net savings from electric vehicles.
Crypto mining figures
While Digiconomist downplays the overall impact of crypto mining on sustainability, renewable resources are taking a larger share of the energy mix. Some of the most famous figures are published by the Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index. The most recent data, from January 2022, shows that nearly 40% of the energy used by Bitcoin comes from renewable sources. The Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), a global Bitcoin mining forum, has also compiled recent data on the subject. According to the results of his survey, about 66.8% of BMC members are currently using a sustainable energy mix. Based on this data, they calculated that the sustainable power mix of the global bitcoin mining industry is about 59.5%. That’s an increase of about 6% year over year from the second quarter of 2021 to the second quarter of 2022.
The Cambridge data has shown that some resources are beginning to increase their share of the energy mix. The role of natural gas and nuclear power in Bitcoin mining has grown remarkably over the past two years. Gas’s share of BTC’s power mix increased from about 13% in 2020 to 23% in 2021. On the other hand, nuclear power’s share increased from 4% in 2021 to almost 9% in 2022. These approaches have garnered some alternative attention in the past year.
El Salvador intends to use volcanoes to extract natural gas for Bitcoin mining in addition to using geothermal energy. Meanwhile, Miami Mayor Francis Suárez has encouraged miners to take advantage of the region’s cheap nuclear power.