Twitter argues the relevance of renewable energy in Bitcoin mining

Crypto Twitter explores if Bitcoin mining with renewable energy is a viable solution for extra or underutilized energy.

It all began with a tweet by Dennis Porter, podcast host, and self-described Bitcoin supporter, that led to a heady conversation about renewable energy and the role of Bitcoin miners. Porter said that Bitcoin (BTC) gives incentives to expand out renewables, while environmental scientist Peter Gleick disputed the notion as a “self-serving fiction.”

The comments section grew heated when Nic Carter, Castle Island Venture’s general partner, and Coin Metrics co-founder, joined the discussion and lashed out Gleick for apparently not understanding anything about energy.

Carter continued to explain how energy markets function and defend bitcoin usage in a sequence of tweets. He first contradicted Porter’s argument that every kilowatt-hour, or KWh, of renewable energy, is “already being put to use constructively, and bitcoin diverts that usage.” He stated that Porter is inaccurate in asserting that every unit of energy is being utilized, citing market data that indicate negative energy prices or curtailed energy that has “no economically viable use.”

He linked readers to efforts conducted by the Electric Reliability Council of Texas, or ERCOT, an organization that runs much of Texas’ electricity system with an excess supply. In a presentation he delivered at the Texas Blockchain Summit last year, he argued that Bitcoin mining may enhance the economics of renewable energy projects.

According to Carter, bitcoin mining has allowed wind and solar installations the potential to soak up any surplus supply that cannot be sold. Any energy that tends to be lost when the generator ceases exporting to the grid or even momentarily shuts down may be offset to mine Bitcoin. He noted that there is already a trend of miners connecting to networks at wind farms who may purchase electricity at off-peak hours or when prices are high, and provide families better access during times of strong demand. He appealed to his detractors to recognize these miners who are now reviewing precisely how economically feasible the infrastructure can be.

The thread received over 400 responses, with many commentators supporting Carter and Gleick or requesting explanations and extra reading material from them. According to one user, “@SGBarbour,” who constructs bitcoin miners, bitcoin miners “do not incentivize renewables,” but rather “help un-sink money in an unreliable generation.” While Barbour acknowledges that mining is beneficial, he believes it does not address the problem that “so much cash has been squandered installing unreliable energy sources like wind and solar,” as he remarked in a Substack article.

On the other hand, another user, “@jyn urso,” a climate-change scientist and new Bitcoin convert, commended Carter for “setting out yet another wonderful thread on how energy markets function.” According to her earlier tweets, she thinks that community- and individual-level solutions such as Bitcoin mining may assist expedite the shift to renewable energy while reducing dependency on governmental systems.

In general, this discussion demonstrates how broadly Bitcoin and energy consumption are misunderstood. The debate over whether Bitcoin is a beneficial use of unused energy has yet to be resolved. A growing number of academics and climate change activists are open to the possibility that Bitcoin’s energy use might offer new opportunities for renewable energy.

Carter eventually changed his Twitter handle to ‘nic no credentials carter’ when Gleick brought out their disparate academic backgrounds and energy expertise. Another Carter fan jumped in to mock Gleick for asserting truth using his authoritative standing as proof.

Norway is one nation that is setting an example for Bitcoin miners. According to a recent government study, Norway’s electrical mix is entirely renewable, providing miners with wholly green and affordable electricity, particularly hydropower.

Also Read: Shiba Inu Takes First Place In “BitPay Brackets”