As the cryptocurrency industry evolves, mining Bitcoin (BTC) is becoming increasingly popular, with arguments in favor of its use to offset energy waste despite criticism over its effect on the environment. In fact, a study has shown that Bitcoin mining can reduce this effect by working together with solar storage systems.
Indeed, incorporating crypto mining into solar energy systems can improve the grids’ stability and scalability while at the same time keeping them cost-effective, as per the annual report ‘Big ideas 2023’ published by an American investment advisor and management company ARK Invest on January 31.
Specifically, the study states that “by increasing the size of its battery 4.6x and incorporating a Bitcoin miner, a solar system could provide 99%+ of end-user demand without sacrificing profitability,” as demonstrated in the accompanying chart.
According to the company, this is because “Bitcoin mining machines are a useful energy tool: modular, moveable, and flexible, they pair well with intermittent energy resources like wind and solar installations.”
“Incorporating Bitcoin mining into solar storage systems can enhance the scaling and reliability of grids without increasing the levelized cost of electricity (LCOE). A Bitcoin miner can ‘buy’ any excess energy.”
Using solar energy to mine Bitcoin
Meanwhile, solar-powered BTC mining is one of the recent large-scale bids to offset Bitcoin’s carbon footprint, as one such mining plant opened in South Australia in September, providing about five megawatts of electricity. Another solar-powered Bitcoin mining operation was earlier launched in Colorado.
It is worth mentioning that one innovative Bitcoin mining pool, PEGA Pool, offers only 1% fees to any miners, big or small, who use green energy, which can thus increase mining profitability, which is half of the industry-standard 2%.
On a related note, crypto enthusiast Peter Egyed, a.k.a AZ Hodl, installed an off-grid solar array to power his Bitcoin mining operation at home and described the entire process, expecting to make a return on his investment within the period of 36 months.
For those who want to take a shot at building their own solar-powered mining rig(s), cryptocurrency YouTuber Drew Vosk has analyzed how many solar panels would be required for such a task, their costs, the required conditions, as well as the expected profitability.
At the same time, some organizations are using other forms of renewable energy sources to mine BTC. For instance, the Virunga National Park in eastern Congo is using its natural hydro resources to mine the flagship decentralized finance (DeFi) asset in order to meet its funding needs, as Finbold reported on January 13.
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