BTC-mining increasingly uses gas and nuclear power
There are increasing signs indicating changes in the energy balance of the first cryptocurrency. Natural gas and nuclear energy have become the leading sources.
A recent update from the Cambridge Center for Altarenthal Finance regarding BTC-mining came out. From the information provided it appears that at the beginning of this year, coal accounted for 37% and hydropower for 15%. Despite this reliance on these sources, there has been a decrease in their overall share. In 2020, coal accounted for at least 40% and hydropower for 34%. As for natural gas and nuclear energy, on the contrary, there is growth: up to 23% (natural gas) and 9% (nuclear energy).
Structure of energy sources for BTC-mining from 2019 to 2022. CCAF data.
Cambridge analysts believe that the migration of miners from China is at the root of this rather dramatic change. It has led to a decrease in the share of hydropower in the source mix. The research states that since the ban on mining and the relocation to other countries, the negative impact on the environment has increased.
Analysts also point to significant differences in the structure of energy sources depending on the region. While in Kazakhstan, the dependence on fossil resources is still strong, in Sweden, for example, the situation is the opposite.
In terms of greenhouse gas emissions, the data is as follows.
Greenhouse gas emissions from BTC mining (September 2022). CCAF data.
Note that most of the emissions, 92%, have been produced since 2018.