As the world of cryptocurrencies is progressing, so is the need for creating renewable energy. The consumption rate of electricity for mining crypto has been increasing in the recent years because the more coins are mined the higher and more complex mining the rest becomes. The cost of mining has gotten very high in the recent years not to mention that the well being of the environment is also being compromised due to the usage of non-sustainable resources to produce electricity. Among these is coal, which is a major contributor in the destruction environment. Another non-sustainable source is fossil fuel. It is alleged that by 2020 mining cryptocurrencies can use as much energy as Denmark. It is the need of hour that sources of clean energy be identified and be used for producing electricity that is consumed by the cryptocurrency mining equipment and blockchain development that could have no potential to harm the environment.
Fortunately, we seem to be sitting on planet, which has plenty of resources that qualify as being able to provide clean energy. Therefore listed below are some of the naturally abundant resources that can be used to create clean electricity to use for the purposes of mining cryptocurrencies and develop blockchain technology and not cause the end of the world by having adverse effects to the environment.
Geothermal is a renewable source of energy that can be used to produce electricity. Geothermal energy refers to the energy extracted from the heat stored in the core of the Earth. Geothermal is reliable, cheap, as it costs from 6 to 8 cents per kWh, sustainable and environment friendly. In addition, it is highly abundant. Statistics show that global capacity of geothermal energy reached 12.89 Gigawatts. Geothermal is rendered sustainable because it produces only a fraction of carbon print when compared to coal burning and fossil fuel generation. However, it cannot be argued that it is completely clean because extracting it can also set free a potentially harmful mixture of gasses trapped beneath the surface of the Earth. These involve carbon dioxide, hydrogen sulfide, methane and ammonia. All of these gasses are considered environmental pollutants and are the cause of acid rain thereby aid global warming. A drawback to it is that in order to access Earths thermal energy there is a big cost to pay for drilling and exploration. Therefore, traditionally the geothermal plants are built around places near the tectonic plates, or places like Iceland where volcanoes can push earth’s heat to the surface so it is easily extractable.
The second one worthy of mentioning is solar power. The use of solar power has seen a major growth in the recent years. It utilizes the radiations from the Sun and stores that energy into photovoltaic cells, which can produce clean electricity. Earlier, solar powered system were quite expensive however, since 2013 the prices have slashed by more than 60%. Solar energy is available to be used at commercial and residential level at costs as low as $0.07 per kWh and $0.06 per kWh. Solar power is easy to install and maintain. Nevertheless, there is a drawback to using solar power that is, that the production is affected by the climate of the area. As it draws all its power from sunlight, no sun means no solar energy. The same goes for snowy and rainy season. The production of solar energy is highest in the summer season. There are batteries available for storing the solar energy, so the places that are powered by it can use the stored energy at nighttime. Still the batteries used for using solar energy are quite expensive and it hoped that in the coming years the prices should drop so that more people can benefit from it.
The next one on the list is Hydropower. Hydropower is the most efficient source of renewable energy. It utilizes the potential energy of water to generate electricity and has an efficiency rate of about 90%. It is also supposed to be the cheapest one as long as the water keeps flowing. It is the oldest source of renewable energy. The construction of dams to provide this can be expensive. Not necessarily monetarily but also it can have adverse effect to the marine life if there exists any. Therefore, it is imperative that an assessment be conducted to ensure the safety of mentioned lives.
Waste energy refers to the energy produced by burning waste. The energy which is gained is thermal energy and it is collected from the burning organic waste. This is not unerringly a waste free or a clean source of energy but the amount of harmful gasses that is produced is much lesser as compared to burning coal or fossils. There exists another kind of waste energy, which is accumulated by introducing bacteria into the organic waste that decays into methane gas. This methane is collected and burnt in order to run a generator that produces electricity. The efficiency of these waste to energy plants is estimated to be from 14 to 28% (much lower in comparison to hydropower). Waste to energy plants offer many advantages such as reducing the need for landfills by burning the waste. However, the waste that can be recycled is also burned in this process.
Among these sources is the energy harnessed from wind turbines. These produce zero waste. They are also considered inexpensive because the energy harvested from these turbines costs much more than what is spent on it for installation. They have the ability to generate electricity at between two and six cents per kilowatt hour. In addition, wind turbines do not emit any kind of greenhouse gasses that could cause global warning. However, this technology also hold disadvantages. One of them being that they are humongous. An average wind turbine is almost over 140 meters (460 ft.) tall and with blades 55 meters (60 yd.) long. Another one is that no wind means no electricity.
The last one is the least heard of and is the latest one. It is called Tidal power. There are a very few countries that have adopted this method of producing electricity. It involves converting the kinetic energy of the tides to electrical energy. Among the countries that have incorporated this technology is South Korea, which has 10 tidal wave generators and can provide as much as 254MW of energy. This technology is still comparatively new but holds a lot of potential.
Stating the obvious but mining cryptocurrencies and developing blockchain projects should hold secondary importance as compared to the safety of our environment. The above-mentioned ways of producing electricity ensure that these tasks can still be carried out that is inexpensive and not hazardous for the planet we live on.