In a whitepaper, the payment company Square from Twitter boss Jack Dorsey explains how Bitcoin can contribute to the efficient use of renewable energies. Elon Musk was immediately enthusiastic.
One criticism that is often expressed in connection with Bitcoin & Co. is the immensely high energy consumption for mining and securing on the blockchain. This also means an immense emission of carbon dioxide. Twitter boss Jack Dorsey now wants to counteract this. In one Whitepaper, published by Dorsey’s firm Square, outlines how the company’s Bitcoin network could enable the company to use significantly more solar and wind energy capacity.
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The LCOE for solar and wind power have fallen 90 percent and 71 percent, respectively, over the past decade, according to Square’s whitepaper. The unsubsidized costs of solar and wind energy are now 3-4 cents / kWh and 2-5 cents / kWh, respectively. The average costs for fossil fuels such as coal or natural gas, on the other hand, are 5-7 cents / kWh. This means that solar and wind energy are already offered at a lower price than coal and natural gas.
Square wants to combine mining and solar systems
This is nothing new. The core of Square’s argument, however, is that mining farms can take into account the discontinuity of solar and wind energy. The demand for electricity in the population usually peaks in the late afternoon or early evening. This is the time when people come home and turn on their devices. But at this time there is neither solar nor wind energy in abundance.
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Solar and wind projects are often in rural areas with a lot of sunlight and wind, but little load (i.e. end users) and transmission capacity. According to Square, Bitcoin miners could now come into play here. They consume the necessary solar and wind energy exactly when it is actually generated. Experts agree that there will always be physical limits to how much energy can be stored inexpensively and without loss.
With Bitcoin mining integrated into a solar system, this problem does not exist. In the USA, to which the whitepaper mainly refers, a structural change is necessary. So the argument that Bitcoin is the great climate killer is finally to be put to an end.
What can fix this problem is an ecosystem where solar / wind, batteries, and bitcoin mining coexist, forming a green grid that is powered almost entirely by renewable energy. Not only is this feasible, but it is also possible without jeopardizing the profitability of the sector
, summarizes Dorsey in one Tweet together, who immediately found support from Elon Musk.
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