In El Salvador they want to mine bitcoin with geothermal energy from volcanoes.
The same president Nayib Bukele said, saying he had instructed the president of the state electricity company to develop a plan to offer facilities for the mining of bitcoin with cheap, clean , renewable and zero-emission energy.
I’ve just instructed the president of @LaGeoSV (our state-owned geothermal electric company), to put up a plan to offer facilities for #Bitcoin mining with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, 0 emissions energy from our volcanos 🌋
This is going to evolve fast! 🇸🇻 pic.twitter.com/1316DV4YwT
— Nayib Bukele 🇸🇻 (@nayibbukele) June 9, 2021
n fact, on the territory of the State of El Salvador there are two volcanoes, given that the country falls within the so-called “belt of fire”, that is a very long strip of volcanoes that surrounds the Pacific Ocean.
Around these volcanoes there is a lot of heat in the subsoil, which the state electricity company uses to generate electricity.
Bitcoin mining in El Salvador
Currently as much as 25% of the country’s total electricity production comes from this source, so much so that El Salvador is one of the top ten geothermal energy producers in the world.
It has two 5 MWe power plants, one active since 1992, and one since 1975.
The geothermal energy that is extracted from the heat of the subsoil is clean, renewable, and generates almost no harmful emissions. It is also particularly economical, especially if it is consumed on site.
Given that the pollution produced by the high energy consumption of bitcoin mining worldwide is a problem that worries many , the solution proposed by the president of El Salvador could be useful in making mining less polluting, especially after Bitcoin was declared legal tender in the country.
However, it is also true that the overall global energy consumption of bitcoin mining is several orders of magnitude higher than that of the entire geothermal electricity production of El Salvador. At the moment it is just a drop in the bucket, but given that the country’s decisions seem to be able to set an example for other countries as well, it may be that they can trigger a cascade effect that could lead to a net increase in use. of renewable energy for bitcoin mining.
It should be remembered that the energy consumption of Bitcoin is variable, and does not necessarily have to be high, therefore there would be no real obstacle for example if you simply wanted to ban the use of non-renewable sources for this kind of activity. Therefore, the solution to Bitcoin’s energy problem lies in replacing non-renewable sources with clean ones.