According to the study, solar and wind farms may generate a considerable amount of dollars in the pre-commercial stage prior to connection to the grid.
Cornell University researchers’ new study established that Bitcoin mining could alleviate climate charge by quickening the move to renewable energy. The study focused on thought-out renewable energy projects in the United States, evaluating the possible profit from mining Bitcoin in the pre-commercial development stage.
Bitcoin Mining to Utilize Solar and Wind-Powered Energy
Solar and wind farms are producing energy at this stage but are yet to be linked to the grid. The researchers’ study established that the excess energy may produce Bitcoin worth millions of dollars, which ‘may be used in renewable energy initiatives in the future.’
A press release accompanying the research study revealed that Texas on its own could produce joint profits of $47B across 32 planned renewable energy projects. The Roseland Solar, as well as the 250-megawatt (MW) Aktina Solar projects, could each produce a possible profit of $3.23M. Further, the study showed that the Western Trail Wind project, which produces 367MW, could generate an additional $2.65M.
The study mentions different states with renewable energy projects that might benefit from Bitcoin mining during the pre-commercial development stage. They include Nevada, California, Iowa, Virginia, Illinois, and Colorado. The study’s researchers suggested the need to give economic incentives for environmentally friendly crypto mining. For example, carbon credits can be issued for evaded emissions.
Apoorv Lal, a co-author, said the rewards might entice miners to embrace clean sources of energy, which can result in joint positive impacts on climate change alleviation, enhanced capacity for renewable energy, and extra proceeds during pre-commercial solar or wind farm operations. Additionally, he suggested the need to incentivize mining activities to redirect some profits to the development of renewable infrastructure. He said it would aid in establishing an autonomous sequence for the development of renewable energy.
Revisiting Energy Consumption in Bitcoin Mining
Previously, Bitcoin has been slammed due to its energy use. In 2021, Cambridge University’s Center for Alternative Energy made headlines following assertions that this cryptocurrency uses more energy in a year compared to Argentina.
Lately, the learning institution revised its Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI) framework, disclosing that its previous power use estimates were significantly exaggerated. Under the new model, the cryptocurrency’s electricity use numbers decreased by 14%.
A June 2023 report by Coin Metrics, a crypto intelligence company, updated Bitcoin mining’s energy use downwards. In this case, it utilized the ASIC framework ‘fingerprints’ to offer a more granular outlook of miners’ efficacy.
A September 2023 research note by Jamie Coutts, an intelligence analyst, showed that the Bitcoin mining sector currently utilizes more than half of green energy. However, the researcher who offered most of the data told a media outlet that the assertion is ‘partly right.’
According to the researchers , different factors have played a role in Bitcoin’s reduced emissions intensity. They include a blend of additional off-grid renewable miners, miners shifting to sustainable sources, reduced mining in Kazakhstan, and using the Texas grid for additional mining.
In the meantime, an academic paper published in August this year established that using renewables to mine crypto might ‘possibly result in a net-decarbonization impact on energy grids.’ In this case, they might aid in absorbing excess power from solar and wind facilities.
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