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Bitcoin mining sets new sustainability record with increased green energy use

Bitcoin mining sets new sustainability record with increased green energy use

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TL;DR

  • Bitcoin mining’s use of sustainable energy reached a record 54.5% in 2023, leading all global industries in green energy adoption.
  • Innovative practices, such as using vented methane for electricity generation in mining, have significantly reduced Bitcoin’s environmental impact.
  • The shift of Bitcoin mining to greener grids in North America and the adoption of renewable energy sources like hydro mining in Latin America have improved emission intensity by 29% since 2021.

The Bitcoin ecosystem has achieved a notable environmental milestone. According to a recent report from the Bitcoin ESG Forecast, sustainable energy use in Bitcoin mining has reached an unprecedented peak of 54.5%.

This statistic, derived from the Bitcoin Energy and Emissions Sustainability Tracker (BEEST), marks a significant increase of 3.6% in sustainable mining practices throughout 2023. This development positions Bitcoin mining as the leading sector in sustainable energy utilization, surpassing multiple global industries.

Innovative practices in emission reduction

A key factor in this environmental advancement is off-grid Bitcoin miners’ innovative utilization of methane emissions. In regions like Canada and the United States, small oil producers often face challenges with the disposal of natural gas, resorting to flaring and, in harder-to-detect cases, venting methane directly into the atmosphere.

However, a shift has occurred where some Bitcoin mining companies are now harnessing this vented methane to generate electricity. This method not only provides power for mining operations but also significantly reduces the environmental impact that would result from releasing methane into the air. The Bitcoin network, through these practices, has achieved a remarkable 7.3% reduction in its total emissions without resorting to offsets – a record high in the industry.

Transition to greener energy sources

The landscape of Bitcoin mining has undergone significant changes following regulatory shifts. The ban on mining activities in China and restrictive policies in Kazakhstan have prompted miners to relocate. This migration has largely been towards regions in North America and other locales where greener grids or sustainable off-grid sites are available. This transition is further supported by global efforts to make grids more environmentally friendly, evidenced by a 0.7% annual increase in grid sustainability.

As a result, the emission intensity for on-grid Bitcoin miners has improved by 29% compared to 2021 levels. Additional ventures into renewable energy mining, like Tether’s expansion into hydro mining in Latin America, further emphasize the sector’s commitment to sustainability.

The move towards sustainable energy in Bitcoin mining is a positive development for the environment and reflects a growing awareness and responsibility within the crypto industry. As the world increasingly focuses on green energy and sustainable practices, the efforts of the Bitcoin mining sector to adapt and innovate are setting a precedent for other industries. This trend is expected to continue as technological advancements and regulatory environments evolve, paving the way for a more environmentally conscious approach to cryptocurrency mining and usage.

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Damilola Lawrence

Damilola is a crypto enthusiast, content writer, and journalist. When he is not writing, he spends most of his time reading and keeping tabs on exciting projects in the blockchain space. He also studies the ramifications of Web3 and blockchain development to have a stake in the future economy.

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