The share of the global bitcoin mining industry using renewable energy rose 1% to 58.5% in the fourth quarter of 2021, according to new data.
The Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) announced the results of its Q4 survey on Jan. 18.
The survey focused on three parameters: sustainable energy mix, technological efficiency and electricity consumption.
Q4 #Bitcoin Mining Council survey confirms improvements in sustainable power mix and technological efficiency. The estimated sustainable energy mix was 58.5%. Join us today at 5pm ET for a full briefing.https://t.co/t1gTZV9GtT
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The Bitcoin Mining Council’s Q4 survey confirms improvements in the mix of sustainable energy and technological efficiency. The estimated sustainable energy mix was 58.5%.
Founded in May 2021, the BMC is a voluntary global forum of bitcoin mining companies such as Bit Digital, BitFury, Bitfarms and Atlas Mining, among other industry organizations.
Michael Saylor, founder and CEO of MicroStrategy and a key member of the BMC, noted:
“This quarter we have seen the trend accelerate with dramatic improvements in the energy efficiency and sustainability of bitcoin mining due to advances in semiconductor technology, the rapid expansion of North American mining, the exodus of China, and the global shift towards sustainable energy and modern mining continues techniques”.
The voluntary survey collected sustainable energy information from miners who make up more than 46% of the global Bitcoin network. According to the survey, the members of the group themselves use electricity with a combination of sustainable sources of 66.1%.
Self-reported data was used to estimate that the sustainable energy mix of the global bitcoin mining industry was approximately 58.5% in the fourth quarter, an increase of one percentage point from the Q3 figure. The estimated technological efficiency of the industry also increased by 9% to 19.3 petahash per MW.
Darin Feinstein, co-founder of Core Scientific and BMC, noted that participating BMC members’ hashrate increased 77% in the fourth quarter.
The environmental impact of bitcoin mining has been hotly debated for some time, and the United States Congress is preparing to thoroughly examine the energetic impact of proof-of-work blockchain networks. The House Energy and Commerce Committee has just announced the key witnesses who will testify at a Jan. 20 hearing on the energy and environmental impacts of cryptocurrency mining.
Notable witnesses include BitFury CEO Brian Brooks, Cornell Tech Professor Ari Juels, and Soluna Computing CEO John Belizaire.
Bitcoin miners are increasingly looking for sustainable energy sources as public and government pressure mounts. Investors like Shark Tank star Kevin O’Leary, aka Mr. Wonderful, say they’re considering buying shares in miners that use sustainable energy.
One avenue that could be further explored is nuclear energy. At the virtual Bitcoin Beyond summit in early November, Griid Vice President Harry Sudock stated that nuclear power could offer an opportunity to introduce large amounts of clean, carbon-free energy.