The amount of energy consumed during the course of mining bitcoin is akin to the total amount of electricity an entire country, Ireland consumes, a recent study has estimated. This has brought the issue of renewable energy back to the front burner as Hollywood actor William Shatner, pro-bitcoin has waded into the on-going discussions.
Shatner, one of the vociferous advocates for renewable energy and who currently serves as a spokesperson for Solar Alliance, a renewable energy company based in Vancouver is actively involved in initiatives intended to push for the adoption of renewable energy for bitcoin mining. He holds the view that renewable energy is a better alternative for mining the flagship cryptocurrency – bitcoin.
In what appears to be a major move towards pushing for the use of renewable energy for bitcoin mining operations, Solar Alliance, the Canadian renewable energy company has purchased an abandoned 165,000-foot warehouse in Murphysboro, Illinois. This abandoned warehouse once housed a factory that was into label-making but has since been left unoccupied for decades, reports indicate. Solar Alliance plans to build a 3-megawatt sola farm and to subsequently rent out space to cryptocurrency mining companies. This will contribute to the sustainability of cryptocurrency mining.
Reports suggest that the availability of incentives and favorable state policies informed Solar Alliance`s decision to establish the renewable energy farm in a city in the state of Illinois. Jason Bak, CEO of Solar Alliance has said that utility companies in Illinois are obliged to purchase renewable energy for their operations. Another influencing factor was the role Will Stephens, mayor of Murphysboro played as an integral component of an initiative captioned “Renewing the Murphysboro Community through Green Energy Jobs”.
In a press statement recently released by Shatner, he stated: “As an advocate for solar energy I was intrigued by the potential for it to power cryptocurrency mining operations. They are energy intensive and utilizing solar arrays to power them makes social and economic sense.”
Solar Alliance is not alone in the fight for the adoption of renewal energy for cryptocurrency mining purposes. A couple of companies are also involved in this enterprise, not only in speech but also in conduct. Earlier this year, the Japan-based Kumamoto Electric Power, launched a new department – a cryptocurrency-mining unit which will receive the bulk of its energy supply from solar photovoltaic arrays, reports indicate.
OZ Mining, a subsidiary of Kumamoto Electric Power plans on providing ‘cloud-based cryptocurrency mining services’ and plans to build ‘containerized mining facilities’ to be installed close to sources of power.
Bitcoin`s annual carbon footprint is estimated to be well over 25,000 kilotons. That evidently is on the high side and begs for attention. Moonlite, also a pro-renewable energy company is working to ensure the reduction of bitcoin`s carbon footprint while pushing for the adoption of renewable energy for the mining of bitcoin.
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