The global Bitcoin mining sector has reached a 56% sustainable power mix in Q2, according to estimates from a Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC) report.
“Bitcoin mining uses a negligible amount of energy, is rapidly becoming more efficient, and is powered by a higher mix of sustainable energy than any major country or industry,” a July 1 press release from the council stated.
The estimate was based on a three question survey of just 32% of the miners on the network. It found respondents “are currently utilizing electricity with a 67% sustainable power mix” which it used as the basis for its 56% estimate across the overall network.
One of the BMC’s core aims is to provide transparent and verifiable data on renewable energy usage in the Bitcoin mining industry.
However, the validity of the data and estimates resulting from BMC’s survey is unclear, as it relies heavily on voluntary and self-reported responses from just a subset of the network. The BMC vaguely notes that its estimated Global Bitcoin network annualized power is based on its own “analysis, assumptions and exploration.”
The BMC defines sustainable electricity as “hydro, wind, solar, nuclear, geothermal, and carbon-based generation with net carbon credits,” which are based on principles from the International Energy Agency’s (IEA) Net Zero by 2050 report.
Don’t trust, verify?
This new BMC study seems unlikely to sway Elon Musk just yet, who stated last month that Tesla would resume allowing Bitcoin transactions when the global Bitcoin mining network was verifiably backed by at least 50% renewables.
MicroStrategy CEO and Bitcoin Mining Council member Michael Saylor was “pleased” with the report, however, noting that the Bitcoin mining industry has “voluntarily” worked together to provide “critical information to the general public and policymakers”
He said it would help “clarifying common misconceptions about the nature and scale of Bitcoin energy usage."
The survey asked just three questions to participants:
"How much electricity does your total fleet consume today? What is the total % of sustainable electricity within your fleet's power generation mix today? What is the total aggregate hashrate of your fleet today?"
The study comes at a pivotal moment in Bitcoin mining history, as Chinese-based miners either shutting up shop, or flocking overseas to energy-cheap hubs such as Quebec in Canada, and Kazakhstan in Central Asia. It remains to be seen how the upheaval in mining will affect the use of renewable energy, though there are hopes it will have a positive effect.