Report: Bitcoin Mining Used More Electricity Than Sweden in 2022

Written by Lisa

January 3, 2023

bitcoin electricity

Sweden’s electricity consumption was reportedly exceeded by bitcoin mining last year, but substitutes are starting to enter the mining mix.

According to Digiconomist, a total of 161 TWh of electricity was used worldwide for Bitcoin mining in 2022. This amount of electricity, according to the tech-skeptic platform, was greater than Sweden’s annual consumption.

It discovered that each of the roughly 93 million transactions on the Bitcoin network in 2017 used an average of 1,738 kWh of electricity. According to Digiconomist, just one of these could have supplied electricity to a typical US home for two months. Bitcoin’s share of the world’s electricity consumption increased to 0.64% despite the fact that the number of transactions actually decreased from 2021.

The same year, a single Bitcoin transaction generated approximately 969 kilograms of CO2 emissions, according to Digiconomist. According to reports, this is comparable to the carbon footprint generated by a single flight from New York to Sydney. According to Digiconomist, the annual CO2 emissions total of 90 megatons effectively cancel out any global net savings from electric vehicles.

Crypto Mining Figures

Renewable resources now make up a larger portion of the energy mix, despite Digiconomist’s criticism of the global impact of cryptocurrency mining on sustainability. The Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index disseminates some of the most widely regarded data. Bitcoin uses nearly 40% of its energy from renewable sources, per the most recent data from January 2022.

Additionally, more recent data on the topic was gathered by the Bitcoin Mining Council (BMC), a global forum for Bitcoin mining. The survey’s findings show that 66.8% of BMC members currently use a sustainable power mix. They calculated the sustainable electricity mix for the global bitcoin mining industry to be around 59.5% based on this data. This represents an increase from Q2 2021 to Q2 2022 of about 6% year over year.

Alternative Approaches

The Cambridge data showed that two resources are beginning to gain ground in the mix of energy sources. Over the past two years, there has been a noticeable increase in the use of nuclear and natural gas energy in Bitcoin mining. In the BTC electricity mix, gas made up 23% of the total energy mix in 2021, up from about 13% in 2020. In contrast, nuclear energy’s share increased from 4% in 2021 to almost 9% in 2022.

Over the past year, these alternative methods have drawn some attention. El Salvador intends to use volcanoes for natural gas to power Bitcoin mining in addition to utilizing geothermal energy. The region’s cheap nuclear energy has been promoted by Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, who has also invited miners to visit.

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