The mining of cryptocurrencies begins to be a serious global problem because of the consumed electricity. The demand for mining is growing and, therefore, the total energy consumption. Now, according to expert estimates, it reaches half the percentage of all electricity consumed on the planet. And this is only the Bitcoin’s mining, the most known one, which is only one of many.
Estimates of the beginning of this year were even more modest, with a 0.2% share. Increasing energy demands lead to operators of large mining farms looking for new locations with the cheapest electricity. This is felt, for example, by Greenland. Thanks to cheap electricity and cool air for cooling, there is an enormous interest by mining companies. It has even gone so far that local authorities have had to introduce measures in the form of a ban on building new mining farms here. The local distribution infrastructure in many places is not enough and has to be strengthened.
Incidentally, just cooling is not taken into account in the energy intensity surveys, it is calculated only with the computing hardware. Cooling and other systems needed to run mining farms need another great deal of energy.
Most mining farms use air conditioning for cooling, which, according to recent analyzes, consumes up to 25% of all the energy of these factories. If we count on these demands as well as the energy needed to extract other cryptocurrencies, the total energy consumption can easily get over one percent of the total energy consumption of the entire planet. This was pointed out by Alex de Vries in Joule’s latest work.
Over the next few months, we can expect an increasing pace of rising consumption, which will soon reach the level of energy consumed, as is the case for the whole of Austria. According to expert estimates, the situation could begin to stabilize sometime at the end of this year, and only if the value of the cryptocurrencies will not be longer rising.