According to a report from CoinShares, the bitcoin network gets 74.1 percent of its electricity from renewables. Why is that the case?
According to a recent Vox article, for most miners, 60–80% of Bitcoin mining revenue is used to pay electricity costs. This is before costs such as rent and after costs such as capital expenditure to set up the site and the costs of the miners themselves, leaving the potential for slim profit margins in some cases. At Harpia we strive to connect our clients with the cheapest possible power sources, especially including curtailed energy, making our projects far cheaper than the industry average, Harpia’s newest projects lay safely with a 75% profit margin on cost.
Bitcoin and renewables make a great match because once you build the initial infrastructure for renewables the underlying resource that produces the electricity is free. In addition, renewable power plants are developed in remote areas due to dependencies in the underlying resource being plentiful to payback the principle. By their very nature renewable power drives production costs towards zero. In fact, according to a Bloomberg NEF report, onshore wind and solar are now the cheapest sources of power in almost every major economy across the world. And this is before we consider curtailed energy, or energy that has to be thrown away because it won’t be bought by the grid system or consumed by local industrial use cases. Curtailed energy is extremely cheap or may potentially even be zero cost, sometimes approaching into negative cost, as some providers are willing to give away power for free or even pay people to take it in order to capture PTC (production tax credit) and REC (renewable energy credit) benefits.
Bitcoin uses electricity as part of its underlying economic mechanism for securing the network, meaning it rewards those who expend computational power towards building the blockchain. With the economic significance of the network increasing, Bitcoin’s security scales to new heights as new miners come online. This fact will become less significant over time as the network reward for the miners halves into near-nothing, and miners are supported only by transaction fees. Meaning as it grows and becomes more established as a currency the network will need to provide less rewards (in Bitcoin terms) to the people that secure it’s blockchain.
Bitcoin is a special currency because of its non-manipulatable monetary schedule. This same schedule lowers the new supply (or monetary inflation) for the asset’s economy every 4-years in events called Halvings, which you can learn more about here. Halvings tighten the mining block reward, and this in turn forces inefficient miners out of profitability. Over the long run Bitcoin will push its infrastructure providers towards zero-cost electrical infrastructure. Effectively miners will either be consuming curtailed renewable electricity, producing their own or they will eventually shut down as more efficient competition comes along to take their place as the external economics of the system forces them out due to price sensitivity.
It is only a matter of time before power providers notice they can and should subsidize their overproduction with or even finance new infrastructure using Bitcoin Mining and other types of decentralized infrastructure. If we consider Bitcoin a Store of Value as it has grown to be, in effect, power providers are consuming electricity they would throw away today, for later use. This presents a massive opportunity for those with renewable power.