Bitcoin Energy consumption is a constant concern in mining, but as more sustainable practices are emerging, it becomes cleaner than transport or health sector
According to recent research by Bitcoin Magazine, Bitcoin energy usage seems to be cleaner than every major industry and represents a rounding error in total energy consumption.
Civil engineer and respected crypto advocate Hass McCook decided to tackle Elon Musk’s resentful attitude towards Bitcoin being ‘anti-green’, deciding to compare the world’s largest cryptocurrency to banking, gold and the military-industrial complex, healthcare and transport (road, rail, air and sea).
According to his research and the Cambridge Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index (CBECI), Bitcoin’s annual energy use is at 79 terawatt-hours (TWh), meaning that the carbon intensity of the BTC network hovers around 420 grams of CO2 per kilowatt-hour (kWh).
However, McCook says that this research was made long before the Chinese mining catastrophe happened in June and July 2021, where almost half of the entire network unplugged its mostly coal-powered rigs.
With China being out of the picture, the newest data from the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) showed that over two-thirds of the membership, representing almost one-third of the network hash rate, is being powered by low-emission energy sources and that global Bitcoin mining is now estimated to receive 56% of its energy needs from sustainable sources (solar, wind, hydro, nuclear, geothermal and other “renewables”).
Construction, health and transportation sector are more harmful to climate than BTC
When speaking about the construction sector, the United Nations Global Alliance for Buildings and Construction (Global ABC) showed that non-residential buildings are using 9,330 TWh, residential buildings are using 26,481 TWh while Bitcoin uses 79TWh or 0.19% of the building and construction industry with total emissions of 22.1 Mt CO2 or 0.18% of the building and construction industry.
When talking about the transportation sector’s emissions data, according to the research, passenger road vehicles (including buses) stand at 3,643 (45%), road freight vehicles at 2,406 (29.7%), shipping stands at 858 (10.6%), aviation at 937 (11.6%), rails at 78 (1.0%), others at 174 (2.1%) with the total emissions of 8,096 Mt CO2.
Bitcoin, on the other hand, stands at 22.1 Mt CO2, or 0.28% of the transportation industry.
McCook concluded his research with the data on how much energy does healthcare use. He stated that it uses a total of 3,716 TWh of energy from an emissions base of 1,603 Mt CO2 (4.4% of the world’s emissions of 36,440 Mt CO2. In contrast, Bitcoin uses only 2.1% of this energy, emits only 1.4% of the CO2 and is more than 35% less carbon-intense.