In the Canadian province of British Columbia, a state-owned electric utility company will put a halt on any further requests for electrical connections from bitcoin miners for a period of 18 months.
The British Columbian government made the announcement in a statement on December 21 and claimed that the break would enable it and BC Hydro to create a long-term framework that could better balance the requirements of crypto miners with those of the residents and businesses.
The action was taken, according to Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation, to protect the clean energy it offers to its citizens and businesses that generate jobs and are more environmentally friendly.
Currently, BC Hydro serves seven cryptocurrency mining facilities. Six more, totaling 273 megawatts, are connected to the system at advanced stages and are not anticipated to be impacted.
Way forward for new Crypto mining projects
It added that there are 21 cryptocurrency mining projects that are currently requesting a total of 1,403 megawatts of electricity. However, new cryptocurrency mining projects will not be able to begin the process of connection with BC Hydro, and projects at the early stages of the connection process will also be halted.
According to the Ministry, this equates to the energy required to power almost 570,000 residences or 2.1 million electric vehicles throughout the province each year.
In its Crypto dilemma study, published in December 2022, the British Columbia hydro and power authority expressed concern that an “unprecedented number” of requests for cryptocurrency mining operations might put a strain on the energy supply and raise electricity costs for B.C. citizens.
It said that Cryptocurrency mining operations could put a strain on BC Hydro’s energy supply, which could lead to less energy being available for environmentally friendly activities like electrification or hydrogen manufacturing and higher electricity prices for British Columbians.
Early in 2022, according to Statista, Bitcoin’s annualized electricity usage reportedly hit a record high, estimated to be larger than Finland’s total annual electricity use at “204.5 TWh.”