Bitcoin mining takes up a lot of energy and with most of the world’s energy being produced by fossil fuels, this means that bitcoin mining is indirectly contributing to increased carbon emissions around the world. This coupled with the constantly running rigs that are used to mine the currency means a significant hit to the climate. This was the major reason why Tesla turned its back on the popular cryptocurrency.
Elon Musk did say that they would reconsider bitcoin if miners started using clean renewable energy and it seems that they are doing just that. Even powerplant owners are opting to mine bitcoin. A hydroelectric plant built back in 1897 isn’t only selling electricity to the national grid anymore. That’s right, the plant is also using some of the power it produces to mine bitcoin. I’m sure we’ll start to hear similar stories over the next few months.
The powerplant is located in Mechanicville, NY, and was operated by Albany Engineering Corp. According to the CEO, Jim Besha, “We think this is the oldest renewable energy facility in the world that’s still running”. He also explained that the plant can make more money mining bitcoin than it ever did while selling electricity to the national grid. Bitcoin is currently going for over 33,000$ though that’s a far cry from its April high, it’s still a pretty substantial amount.
El Salvador is pushing to do something similar by utilizing its volcanoes. They’re building a bitcoin mining facility that will be powered by geothermal energy. Besha isn’t as crazy of a cryptocurrency fan as El Salvador’s president but he does know that mining bitcoin could have serious repercussions on the climate. He commented on his idea saying that “It’s the best [type of mining] because we’re using renewable energy”.
The plant’s use of renewable is a big plus meaning that it’s less likely to get banned. The plant is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places. It’s a much better mining setup than a certain powerplant that was warming up nearby lakes and pumping out a lot of carbon while doing so. Besha also said that “We’re just doing it on the side, experimenting with it. We’re buying used servers”.
Besha is also selling coins as they come because we all are well aware of just how volatile cryptocurrencies can be. Especially bitcoin, which has been having a tough time since April.