Agile Energy inc and Triple 1, a semiconductor company, have partnered to leverage renewable energy for crypto miners in Japan.
Agile Energy X is a Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO) subsidiary, Japan’s largest electric power company. The subsidiary began operation on October 1, 2022, to accelerate the introduction of renewable energies by operating cutting-edge distributed computing systems that provide digital and environmental value.
Power grid congestion in Japan
Weather fluctuations are a significant challenge for renewable energy sources such as solar power—varying production results in curtailment and grid constraints.
In Japan, such occurrences result in excess power production that they could effectively utilize, making it difficult to interconnect renewable energy sources. The challenge was the primary motivation behind Agile Energy X.
The memorandum of understanding (MOU) signed between Agile Energy X and Triple 1 will create new energy demand centers and facilities rather than disposing surplus energy generated, a move that usually results in power grid congestion.
The actual method for creating power demand entails using “Distributed Computing” technology by which a large number of computers are used for AI/machine learning, genome analysis, CG rendering, cryptocurrency miningTEPCO Press release
Distributed computing or blockchain technology enables users to carry out large computations simultaneously, ensuring the trust and validity of the information.
The two firms promised to pave the way to carbon neutrality using renewable energy.
Crypto miners have always been at loggerheads with environmentalists, and the opportunity provides the miners with legroom to operate without fears of disruption.
Triple-1 has demonstrated the plan’s utility with a data center with 1,300 computer systems set up in TEPCO’s power grid. The facility operated with up to 1,500kW of power without disruption.
Triple 1’s Kamikaze semiconductors were used exclusively on this project.
Agile Energy X plans to scale its initiatives to 100MW in Japan by 2030.
The project will enable local governments in Japan to promote decarbonization initiatives, grow profit from renewable energy, and revitalize local economies.
State of crypto miners around the world
In the United States of America, Arkansas provides hospitable environments for crypto miners. Entergy Corporation offered a mining tariff ranging from a penny to a penny per kilowatt. Unlike Japan, the special tariff did not accommodate other data processing companies.
New York state banned cryptocurrency mining firms that used carbon fuels to run their activity. The State required that all the mining facilities use 100% renewable energy sources or ship out. Greenpeace USA applauded the initiative noting that miners had gone unchecked for too long.
In Russia, legislators provided a bill before the state Duma requiring that miners would only sell mining proceeds outside the country. The bill stated that miners would only sell crypto in the country within experimental constructs that the government would establish in 2023. The bill has raised lots of debate, with experts citing the likelihood of sanctions that would prevent miners from selling outside the country.
In Paraguay, Ande, the country’s local operator, opposed crypto miners. The energy firm argued that the government did not have the resources to accommodate crypto miners and that the mining activity was of little benefit to society.
Gridless Computers in Kenya, on the other hand, shared success stories from their hydropower mining rigs. The firm boasts of lowering the local community’s electricity bills by over 50%.
China banned all mining activities but remains supportive of distributed ledger technology. The country is working on CBDCs and other projects that leverage blockchain technology.
In an interview with Arkansas Business, Frederick Huang, lead at GMI computing, shared that miners’ concerns involved rising power bills, Bitcoin’s poor performance, and threats to power disruption.