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BT Daily News: A Shift to Renewables Will Optimize Bitcoin Mining


1. Solar energy and mining growth

Solar is now termed “the cheapest energy source.” The levelized cost of energy places onshore wind and solar ahead of other energy sources.

As the energy source with the fastest growth rate, solar power today supplies around 3% of the world’s electricity, producing zero noise pollution while possessing high scalability. Unlike relatively scarce geothermal, solar has worldwide potential.

The deployment of solar in conjunction with bitcoin mining continues to gain traction among entrepreneurs. Aspen Creek Digital Corp., a new bitcoin mining firm, has begun mining at a 6 megawatt (MW) solar-powered plant in western Colorado amid the current bear market.

2. Biomass deployment in bitcoin mining

Biomass accounts for approximately 10% of the world’s energy, 5% of U.S. primary consumption and 1.4% of the electricity generated in Canada. The bulk of this energy is used for heating and other industrial processes, which has significant environmental advantages that extend to improving hygiene by recycling waste materials and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In the race to a sustainable bitcoin mining industry, using biodegradable materials as fuel for electricity production is not out of place. It may not provide a more significant arbitrage when paired against solar but investing in these energy alternatives from an advantage remains the best.

3. Can bitcoin be mined with wind energy?

With a 25-year service life for wind turbines, it is more rewarding for bitcoin mining than solar power when maintenance is considered.

Wind speed, air density and swept area serve as reminders that location is crucial when it comes to wind energy. Constrained by the Betz Limit, engineers have been exploring design options that provide the best optimization of wind turbine efficiency while reducing cost. Horizontal axis turbines are standard. However, bladeless turbine concepts are gaining ground, though they can’t be seen as significant competitors.

Wind power designs are experiencing accelerated improvement in design efficiency and capacity. Implementing more wind-powered mining systems will improve the renewable energy mix of bitcoin mining. However, wind power suffers the same fate as solar and will require batteries for shortfalls during less windy periods. Also, it’s best scaled by adding energy to the grid in a distributed model.

4. Load balancing of renewable options

Incentivized load curtailment at peak demand periods will continue in an attempt to flatten losses. Miners’ involvement remains relevant, but wholesale prices have fallen due to the solar value deflation caused by the time-locked supply of solar energy, resulting in utilities paying less for solar.

The growing market for electric cars and the Bitcoin network offer profitable alternatives to the industry’s solar value decline. Solar bitcoin mining could reduce solar value deflation to a great extent while reducing the need for generated energy curtailment, at the same time freeing up power during peak demand, especially when grid-dependent backups are incorporated.

5. Kenyan Firm Using Wasted Energy to Mine Bitcoin — Business Model Said to Potentially Help Decentralize Mining

Gridless, a Kenya-based crypto mining company, has said the excess electricity from mini-grid hydro generators is now being used to mine bitcoin. The revenue generated from bitcoin mining helps to reduce or subsidize the cost of electricity.

Meanwhile, in addition to helping lower respective Kenyan communities’ electricity costs, it’s said that Gridless’ model — if widely adopted — could potentially see Kenya and the African continent, in general, become an important bitcoin mining hub.

[This business model] serves as a welcome decentralization of the overly centralized mega-site bitcoin mining that goes on today. Not only does it move some hashing power to Africa, but it also further distributes hashing to smaller sites,” Erik Hersman, a founder at Gridless, said in a blog post.

6. Bitcoin Miner Cleanspark Completes Sandersville Facility Acquisition, Firm's Hashrate Now 4.7 Exahash

Cleanspark revealed on Tuesday that the mining firm has finished the acquisition of Mawson’s Georgia-based bitcoin mining facility located in Sandersville. The acquisition, Cleanspark says, included 6,500 mining rigs or roughly 560 petahash per second (PH/s) of hashpower.

According to Cleanspark, the Sandersville site is the publicly-listed bitcoin miner’s fourth facility in Georgia. The other locations Cleanspark operates are located in Washington, College Park, and Norcross.

Mawson has built a world-class facility, staffed by an incredible team, and we are looking forward to continuing their work in Sandersville, eventually building this site to its full potential of 230 MW as we work toward our 2023 year-end guidance of 22.4 EH/s,” Zach Bradford, Cleanspark’s CEO, said on Tuesday in a statement.
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