Estonian government-owned Salme wind farm operated by Eesti Elekter has set up a cryptocurrency mining farm on the island of Saaremaa in the Baltic Sea off the west coast of Estonia, demonstrating the beneficial synergy between wind power and cryptocurrency technology.
The Salme wind farm has seven turbines which produce 6 MWh of power for computers that will be mining cryptocurrency. Oleg Sonajag, board member of Eesti Elekter, believes that the company and Estonia will be more competitive if they continue pursuing synergy between future technologies like this.
The island of Saaremaa has persistent winds years round thanks to strong mid-latitude westerlies and cyclones at its latitude, and it is exposed to the Baltic Sea where winds are stronger than inland Europe. This makes it an ideal location for a wind farm.
Cryptocurrency mining energy consumption is becoming a major issue, with Bitcoin consuming as much electricity as the entire country of Chile. Since 1 January 2018, Bitcoin’s electricity consumption has practically doubled from 36 TWh to 70 TWh annually, and this rapid rise continues.
This massive amount of electricity consumption from cryptocurrency mining contributes to a carbon footprint due to the burning of fossil fuels to produce the electricity. It is estimated that each Bitcoin transaction has a carbon footprint of 500 kg, directly leading to global warming. Most of the electricity currently generated from fossil fuel also released toxic chemicals into the atmosphere, while fossil fuel extraction itself is a polluting factor.
Using wind power instead of burning fossil fuels is an ideal solution for making cryptocurrency mining more eco-friendly, since practically no chemicals or carbon dioxide is released from wind farms. The Salme wind farm in Estonia is part of a trend where cryptocurrency miners turn to green energy solutions to avoid damaging the environment.
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