Crypto Is Straining the Power Grid. Congress Wants to Rein It In

Rate this post

All companies included in the research were asked to explain “the impacts of your facilities on energy costs to local households and businesses,” but none could describe any existing estimates or models to track. of these impacts. Those involved with the question said this was because they did not expect to have a noticeable effect on the costs of consumers ’energy bills. One company, Bit Digital, said it would be contrary to intuition to study its own impact on local households and businesses, because businesses are intentionally located in rural areas with an excess of energy supply and limited demand, occupying an empty space that is not used in the mains. not competing with consumers for energy.

Bit Digital’s head of strategy, Samir V. Tabar, criticized the letter from Warren, et al. to “silage” the data provided showing how the cryptocurrency company fuels job creation “in ruined economies while using unwanted electrical infrastructure”. Tabar says Bit Digital is “happy to help shape the industry by being leaders in the use of sustainable energy sources,” and the company “hoped the senator will see our efforts there.”

Because the data is so poorly reported, it remains difficult to predict how residents and local businesses will be affected by the projected growth of these businesses. Some companies said that because of the commitments of cryptocurrency companies to switch to renewable energy sources, things could change so quickly that existing data cannot be used reliably to predict how northern citizens will be affected. Americans. At least one company, Stronghold Digital Mining, claimed that “the multitude of factors affecting residential electricity costs,” such as “natural gas prices, temperature fluctuations and other factors,” make it difficult. attribute any change in local electricity costs “. ”In cryptographic mining. (Stronghold did not immediately respond to a request for comment.)

Congressmen believe that demanding reports is the answer. They are especially concerned about residents and businesses in states like Texas, where “relatively cheap electricity costs” attract “an influx of cryptocurrency companies,” which could “increase stress on the state’s power grid.” .

Future of cryptocurrency in the US

Warren, et al. say that since 2019, global energy consumption in bitcoin mining has only “quadrupled,” which basically erased “the total reductions in greenhouse gas emissions attributed to electric vehicles”.

In their responses, cryptocurrency companies rejected environmental complaints noting that their goal is to spend as little money as possible on energy, and therefore larger companies are highly motivated to switch to renewable energy sources. The companies claimed that this could help the US achieve its renewable energy targets if the US supported the expansion of cryptographic mining, rather than restricting or banning it as China and India have done. is trying to do that.

Companies also say that because of agreements between power companies and cryptocurrency companies in order to cut off energy from miners when there is an increase in energy demand on the grid, companies help stabilize energy supply. and reduce consumer costs. Bit Digital even suggested that lawmakers consider rewarding miners participating in these programs and encouraging more cities to adopt cryptocurrency associations. The growth and incentives of cryptographic miners seem predictably unlimited.

Energy security remains a U.S. priority for most Democrats, and helping officials understand how digital currency works will continue to be an important part of the country’s energy use equation. By the end of the summer, congressmen expect the EPA and DOE to reveal how they plan to increase reports on cryptographic mining in the U.S. If the agency’s response is timely, this update should come ahead of President Joe Biden’s request for a September report that explains, in part, the implications of energy policy if the U.S. adopts a currency. digital central bank in the coming years.

This story originally appeared in Ars Technique.

Source link

Leave a Comment