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Bitcoin Mining Is Surprising Ally in Reducing EU Renewable Energy Waste

Last Updated April 4, 2024 4:08 PM
Last Updated April 4, 2024 4:08 PM
By Lisa Gibbons
Verified by Ana Alexandre
Key Takeaways
  • The article delves into the symbiotic relationship between cryptocurrency mining and green energy.
  • Bitcoin mining is redefining its role within the renewable energy sector.
  • This shift could pave the way for a sustainable future with a more integrated approach to energy production and consumption.

The European Green Deal embodies the ambitious vision of transforming the EU into the world’s inaugural climate-neutral continent by 2050. This package of measures not only underscores the commitment to combat climate change but also aims to empower citizens and businesses to thrive in the transition period.

In 2022, renewable energy represented 23% of energy consumed  in the EU, up from 21.9%, in 2021. However, there is a lack of reporting around the waste produced alongside the production of these newer sources of energy.

Research by Highview Power reveals  that the UK has wasted over 1,300 GWh of wind energy since the crisis began in September 2021, enough to power half a million homes a day.

Believe it or not, some of our most valued renewable energy sources are often burdened with surplus power.

The role of Bitcoin in the global transition towards sustainable energy

As nations push towards a greener future using renewable energy sources, it isn’t enough to fund the development of infrastructure. Decision-makers must also ensure equal and efficient distribution of this clean energy where it is needed most.

Bitcoin (BTC) is emerging as a pivotal player, as countries manage their renewable capacity; it’s not just about erecting more wind turbines or installing additional solar panels. By integrating with power system operations, mining enhances grid flexibility and stability, thus playing a pivotal role in electricity production and grid management.

This innovative approach positions mining at the forefront of technological advancements in energy systems. Their ability to rapidly adapt to grid demands facilitates the integration of higher levels of renewable energy, contributing to the decarbonization of power grids.

Mark Morton, a co-founder and CEO of Scilling Digital Mining, relays how mining facilitates the expansion of renewable energy capacity, stating:

“Mining facilitates this expansion from two perspectives, the collocation of mining with renewable projects that have limited grid connectivity, and by operating as a flexible large-scale consumer of power on heavily renewable grid systems that are prone to peaks and troughs of energy supply.”

The synergy of Bitcoin mining and renewable power projects

Modular data centers can be collocated with energy assets experiencing grid connectivity delays or having limited export capability. This allows energy producers to monetize energy that would otherwise be wasted.

Morton pinpoints regions that have working models in operation: “Two excellent examples of each of these models is Gridless Compute operating mining mini-grids in parts of Africa and Riot powering on and off during winter storms and heatwaves in ERCOT, the Texas grid system.”

Renewablox provides a solution for existing sustainable energy producers to access the economic benefits of Bitcoin mining on a level that is commensurate with the operator’s appetite for risk and on a sliding scale of ownership terms. Jason Deane, a Chief Operating Officer at Renewablox sees the potential of opening up new avenues of development that have not previously been available to energy producers. Deane points out:

“Mining is location-agnostic, has fully flexible demand response capability and can act as a baseload for grids fed by variable power sources such as wind and solar. These attributes are entirely unique and have never simultaneously existed in any other industry before now.”

Deane also notes the profitability angle that significantly alleviates some of the costs in setting up renewable projects: “Renewable energy projects can now be modeled with higher levels of profitability which, in turn, lead to an increased propensity for investment and deployment. Mining can also be configured to accept offtake from existing operations, avoiding significant curtailment costs and allowing reinvestment in new sustainable projects.”

The intersection of technology and environmental policy

Funding the development of renewable infrastructure and setting targets for our future means of energy consumption are just two components of a complex system when tackling our future energy sector.

Traditionally viewed as high-energy, Bitcoin mining is undergoing a paradigm shift in perception. Specialists are now beginning to understand its role in energy management and ecological stewardship, particularly in the context of sustainable energy solutions.

As part of the European Green Deal, the Commission has adopted proposals to help reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030 and a reduction of 90% by 2040.

To achieve these ambitious goals requires an innovative approach to all aspects of resource planning, including putting the right incentives in place for energy producers to reuse and manage energy waste.

About the author: Lisa Gibbons   is the founder of the Metaverse Tourism Association and a passionate entrepreneur and educator. She is advocating for a hybrid future for the travel industry where sustainability is a key factor. In 2017, she founded Orchards Near Me, a platform dedicated to sustainability, tourism and wild food. She is also co-founder of the first Irish Pub in the Web3 Metaverse. She has a Masters in International Tourism, is fascinated by the opportunities of virtual environments to create a more sustainable future.

Disclaimer: The views, thoughts, and opinions expressed in the article belong solely to the author, and not necessarily to CCN, its management, employees, or affiliates. This content is for informational purposes only and should not be considered professional advice.