As bitcoin mining gains momentum in Texas, USA, its grid operator Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) has forecast a five-fold increase in energy loads. Over the next two years, through 2023, ERCOT predicts that it will need to produce at least up to 5,000 MW more electricity to support crypto mining and data centers. The crypto industry is already consuming up to 1,000 MW of electricity in Texas, ERCOT officials told the media during a recent interaction.
Texas has become a bitcoin mining hub after the Chinese government criminalized all crypto-related activities earlier this year. The excessive power consumption in crypto mining was one of the major reasons China took the drastic measure.
The state is offering 10-year tax breaks, sales tax credits, and government-sponsored employee training to crypto miners to help attract more of them, according to a report by Data Center Dynamics.
Two of the largest cryptocurrency mines in the world are currently under construction in Texas.
Texas is on the verge of becoming the #bitcoin mining capital of the United States due to its deregulated power landscape, low energy bills, and welcoming legislators. ???? ⚡
The # Whinstone Mine in Rockdale, TX (pictured) could be capable of producing 500+ bitcoins per month! pic.twitter.com/XiVMlPBDX9
– Sophia Zaller ???? (@sophiamzaller) July 9, 2021
A number of residents of the state have linked this energy-consuming process of Bitcoin mining to the power outages they face.
In February 2021, the Texas Electricity Authority was criticized by Texas for poorly managing the electricity supply, resulting in blackouts and days of heating failure to keep the winter going. Hundreds of people lost their lives during this time due to a lack of heat and food. Even industries were closed.
At that time, ERCOT blamed the extreme weather conditions, which are likely to increase as a problem due to anthropogenic climate change.
Texas residents are currently concerned about putting even more strain on already strained power grid systems.
According to a research report, the cryptocurrency mining hardware is always running and therefore consuming energy.
Between January 1, 2016 and June 30, 2018, mining operations for four major cryptocurrencies released up to an estimated 13 million tons of carbon dioxide.
Recently, however, several pro-crypto regions are trying to run crypto mining with clean energy resources in an attempt to decarbonize the process.
El Salvador, for example, also operates its Bitcoin mining facility using geothermal volcanic energy.
Francis Suarez, the mayor of Miami, has also proposed building a bitcoin mining facility near a Florida nuclear power plant. Nuclear energy is on the verge of being recognized as a true environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) solution to energy, according to a report by Latest News Today.
Interested in cryptocurrency? We discuss everything about crypto with WazirX CEO Nischal Shetty and WeekendInvesting founder Alok Jain on Orbital, the Gadgets 360 podcast. Orbital is available on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, and anywhere you get your podcasts.