According to a recent report by the Bitcoin Mining Council, the Bitcoin mining industry has achieved a sustainable electricity mix of 58.4%, making it one of the most sustainable industries in the world as of the first quarter of 2022. The report also revealed that sustainable energy usage has increased by 59% compared to the previous year. The entire bitcoin network is estimated to consume 121 TWh annually according to Cambridge, which is less than half of a percent of global production.
Solar energy is currently the fastest-growing renewable energy source, with an annual average growth rate of 33%. This trend is expected to continue in the future, and with installation costs declining, solar infrastructure will become more accessible to those who want to utilize it. Furthermore, the cost of this already inexpensive energy source is projected to drop between 15% and 35% by 2024. Wind power is another abundant and cost-effective form of renewable energy that can be found worldwide. It is one of the cheapest sources of renewable energy, with a cost of $.01 to $.02 per kilowatt-hour.
The carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining is primarily due to two intertwined factors: the increasing demand for energy resources and the reliance on fossil fuels with high carbon emissions. This means that the carbon emissions are directly proportional to the intensity of Bitcoin blockchain energy consumption. Despite the world’s increasing adoption of renewable and clean energy, the carbon intensity of Bitcoin remains high. Some individuals are actively seeking out locations with abundant renewable energy sources, such as Iceland, to operate mining operations. However, the overall energy usage for mining continues to rise, offsetting any gains made by utilizing clean energy and keeping carbon-based energy utilization high.
To reduce the carbon intensity of Bitcoin, there are two potential solutions: a significant increase in renewable or clean energy usage, or the implementation of large-scale carbon offsets. The most practical way to reduce overall emissions is to increase the use of clean energy and offset as much of the CO2 emissions caused by Bitcoin mining as possible.