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Munich Researchers Call for Higher Renewables Impact on Bitcoin Mining

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The crypto mining ecological debate is never too far from the news, and a German think tank at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has just added its own slant to the argument suggesting that renewables are the recommended way of lowering the Bitcoin footprint.

This in itself is not news as it has now been accepted in the industry that renewable energy will be the direction for existing and future mining enterprises to take moving forward, but the Munich group have added their own new statistics to the debate.

TUM concluded after their research that Bitcoin causes around 22 megatons in CO2 annually, comparable, the unit suggested, to cities such as Hamburg or Las Vegas. They founded their results on the IPO filings of hardware manufacturers and the IP addresses of Bitcoin miners. The research was arguably the most thorough of its kind with the team using a step by step process in order to gain conclusive data on what exactly the carbon footprint may be given current mining statistics.

Christian Stoll, who conducts research at both the TUM and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), maintained that, “To improve the ecological balance, one possibility might be to link more mining farms to additional renewable generating capacity.” He added:

“Naturally there are bigger factors contributing to climate change. However, the carbon footprint is big enough to make it worth discussing the possibility of regulating cryptocurrency mining in regions where power generation is especially carbon-intensive.”

A 2018 report released by UK based CoinShares detailing the origins of global energy resources used in Bitcoin mining proposed that 77.6% of worldwide Bitcoin mining is now conducted through the use of renewable energy resources.

The outcome is that companies mining Bitcoin are moving to “curtailment” areas to lower their production costs resulting in extremely high renewable powered mining statistics: 95% of Chinese mining through renewable energy and 80% of total Chinese mining (or 48% of global mining) occurring in Sichuan.


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