New Power Sources Stall Crypto Miners in British Columbia

Among the reasons British Columbia suspended cryptocurrency mining operations was its commitment to clean energy and job creation.

New Power Sources Stall Crypto Miners in British Columbia

The British Columbian electric utility company has halted all new requests for electricity connection for cryptocurrency miners for 18 months.

It stated in a statement on Dec. 21 that the pause would enable the government and BC Hydro to develop a permanent framework that will better balance the needs of crypto miners and residents and businesses.

Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation, said the move was made to protect the clean energy that provides jobs and green energy to its citizens.

“Cryptocurrency mining consumes massive amounts of electricity to run and cool banks of high-powered computers 24/7/365, while creating very few jobs in the local economy.”

BC Hydro currently serves seven crypto-mining operations. Two more are already connected, totaling 273 megawatts. These will not be affected by this project.

Projects in the early stages of the connection process with BC Hydro will also be halted, according to the statement. There are currently 21 cryptocurrency mining projects consuming 1,403 megawatts of electricity.

Approximately 570,000 homes or 2.1 million electric vehicles are powered by this amount of energy each year in the province, according to the Ministry.

Several months ago, the British Columbia hydro and power authority released a report entitled Crypto Conundrum, which warned that the demand for cryptocurrency mining operations could potentially strain the existing energy supply and result in higher electricity rates for residents of B.C. As noted:

“BC Hydro’s available energy could be challenged by cryptocurrency mining operations, which could mean less energy for greener pursuits such as electrification or hydrogen production, and higher electricity rates for British Columbians.”

Earlier this year, Statista reported that Bitcoin's annualized electricity consumption exceeded Finland's total power consumption, with an estimated "204.5 TWh.".New York has become the first state in the country to ban proof-of-work mining. No new mining operations are allowed that do not use renewable energy.

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