- A recent study by researchers at Cornell University has found that renewable energy suppliers could earn millions of dollars by mining bitcoin
- The study found wind and solar firms could earn a small fortune by mining bitcoin before their supplies are connected to the power grid
- Bitcoin miners have already experimented with using waste energy and gas to power their activities, signaling a more forward-thinking industry than critics suggest
A recent study by researchers at Cornell University has found that renewable energy suppliers could earn millions of dollars by mining bitcoin before they are connected to the power grid. “From Mining to Mitigation: How Bitcoin Can Support Renewable Energy Development and Climate Action”, appeared in ACS Sustainable Chemistry and Engineering and claims that Bitcoin mining could be used as a way for renewable energy firms to make the most out of wasted electricity. Bitcoin miners are already experimenting with using waste energy and gas to power their activities, a sign that the industry is much more forward-thinking than critics suggest.
Pre-Commercial Phase Produces Wasted Electricity
The study looked at planned renewable energy projects across the US, examining the prospects of each project in terms of profiting from Bitcoin mining during the “pre-commercial development phase.” This is when a wind or solar farm is actively generating electricity but has not yet been integrated into the national grid.
The key finding from the study was that regions in which pre-commercial development exists could benefit financially from incorporating Bitcoin mining which could then be “invested in future renewable energy projects.” They cite Texas as a prime example, with the state boasting 32 planned renewable projects that could collectively yield profits amounting to $47 million through Bitcoin mining during this initial stage.
The study picked out the Aktina Solar and Roseland Solar Projects, each of which has a 250-megawatt capacity, as the most lucrative sites, capable of generating a maximum profit of $3.23 million. The Western Trail Wind project, with a capacity of 367 megawatts, also showcases substantial profitability, with a figure reaching $2.65 million.
Bitcoin Miners Known for Innovation
While Texas claims the top spot, other states like California still contribute significantly to the profits generated in the study. For instance, projects in California secured the second-highest amount of profits. Additionally, states with fewer installations, including Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Nevada, and Virginia, also demonstrated profitability, suggesting the broader potential for integrating Bitcoin mining with renewable energy initiatives.
Bitcoin miners are known to be innovative in their search for cheap, or ideally free, sources of energy, some of which also have a beneficial impact on the environment. These include using flared gas and waste coal which is otherwise unusable and potentially damaging to the environment.