Some of the first big server farms devoted to bitcoin were located in the frozen wastes of Finland. Why? Because cooling costs are minimised when the servers are packed into below ground containers. But in general, the biggest thing holding back eco-enthusiasts who want to buy BTC, is how much
energy the mining uses. It is very environmentally unfriendly to get involved with crypto as it relies largely on fossil fuels.
However, that seems poised to change as the price of bitcoin has opened up the possibility to use renewables. With the value of Bitcoin soaring above $20,000 at the moment it means that there can be alternatives to mining. Solar power is not the most consistent in areas where the servers currency operate but that might not be enough to hold it back at this point. Even though we don’t love solar farms, this might provide a solution.
Let’s be honest. The driving force in bitcoin mining is not going to be trying to find a smaller carbon footprint, it will be the cost to mine the coins. Right now, since the computing power required to verify the transactions, also known as mining, is so great it costs a lot to operate.
The only way that switching to solar is going to be viable is if the price is right. There are two things that are working in favor of solar at the moment. One is the value of bitcoin these days. Well above $20,000 in value, it can absorb some higher energy costs and
still be worth mining.
This means that if they had to go somewhere like California to take over the mining energy required then it could still make sense. And farms could be constructed just for the mining operations so it is not going to add to the grid. It would be the same as installing a solar panel on your home to provide you with the energy that you need without needing to be part of the grid.
The other aspect is that solar energy is finally very inexpensive. If you wanted to mine bitcoin and invest in some of the computers you could do so with a good solar power set up if you live in the right part of the world.
Where it makes sense
There are a lot of sunny areas in the world where mining could theoretically take place. However, there are many logistical challenges and this is what is holding back the implementing of solar as the preferred way to power mining. One of which is the infrastructure required to provide the energy is generally lacking in many areas. Many countries in the equatorial region are developing and not ready to
provide a stable energy source.
The other issue is the heat itself. It uses almost as much energy to cool the servers as it does to mine the cryptocurrency. That’s why many of the mining farms are located in northern locales that have cold weather to naturally cool the servers. In fact some towns get their heat source from the servers themselves.