According to a recent estimate by the Bitcoin Mining Council, 56% of Bitcoin mining is now powered by sustainable energy.
In fact, a few days ago the results of a survey carried out by the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) were released, showing that 67% of respondents said they currently use electricity with a sustainable energy mix to mine Bitcoin.
It should be noted, however, that the survey sample is only 32% of the current global Bitcoin network, and the calculation that led BMC to state that 56% of Bitcoin mining is now done with sustainable energy is only an estimate.
BMC is also mainly active in North America, where the focus on sustainable consumption is highest. In other parts of the world, it is possible that it is taken into account much less.
Also, this is a survey, not a field audit, so it’s a matter of trusting what the BMC members who responded said.
Bitcoin mining has become sustainable
That said, the survey results would nevertheless reveal a clear prevalence of sustainable energy mixes, far greater than the average for other electricity-intensive sectors.
So, regardless of whether these figures are true, they show a much higher level of attention to the issue than is shown at all by many other energy-intensive sectors.
For example, according to Tesla’s 2019 statement, only 30% of the electricity produced in California in 2017 came from renewable sources, although this is up from 12% in 2009 and the target is 60% in 2030.
It is highly likely that this target can be reached by Bitcoin mining before 2030 itself.
The CEO of Tesla, Elon Musk, has stated that his company will return to accepting payments in bitcoin when it is proven that more than 50% of the energy consumed by mining comes from renewable sources, so it is not impossible to imagine this happening relatively soon.
In fact, in the last couple of months, there has been a veritable collapse in the energy consumption of bitcoin mining due to the closure of several mining farms in China.
According to CoinWarz, the hashrate has fallen from 191 Ehash/s on 9 May to 95 Ehash/s today, a halving in just over a month and a half.
That halving is due to China’s decision to forcibly close practically all of its large mining farms. These were consuming a lot of non-renewable energy, particularly coal, and this effectively reduced the unsustainable energy consumption of Bitcoin mining.
Therefore, Bitcoin mining would now be by far one of the most sustainable industries globally.
MicroStrategy CEO Michael Saylor, co-founder of the Bitcoin Mining Council, said:
“I am pleased to see that the Bitcoin mining industry has come together, voluntarily, to provide critical information to the general public and policymakers, especially as it pertains to clarifying common misconceptions about the nature and scale of Bitcoin energy usage. This survey — the first quarterly release of many we expect to come — draws on data from miners around the world. As I’ve stated before, just because the Bitcoin network is decentralized doesn’t mean it has to be disorganized”.