The argument that Bitcoin requires an excessive amount of energy is a prevalent one, despite the fact that those in power want everyone to drive electric automobiles. In the year 2020, Governor Gavin Newsom of California went so far as to pass an executive order that would eventually put an end to the sale of traditional gas-powered vehicles by the year 2035.
The use of electricity in bitcoin is problematic. Electrified vehicles are a welcome development. What's the deal?
The dirty little secret that not a lot of people understand is that all of this environmentally friendly technology isn't actually that environmentally friendly at all. According to the findings of a study conducted by Seeking Alpha, it would take roughly three years for the carbon footprint left by a Tesla battery to become neutral in comparison to that of a regular automobile. In addition, the production of these batteries requires the refining of tens of thousands of pounds worth of raw material, which results in the production of hundreds of pounds of heavy metals.
When you combine that with the various source locations located all over the world… and I'm not feeling too enthusiastic about it.
The use of solar panels and wind turbines is not an improvement. Coal is necessary for the solar panel manufacturing process since it is used to heat up and purify the silicon. According to estimates provided by AEI, it takes 79 people working with solar energy to produce the same amount of energy as it would take two people working with natural gas and one person working with coal.
Wind turbines can be rather large; in fact, it may take a whole tractor-trailer to transport just one of the blades. Since many of them are constructed of fiberglass, recycling them is not an option. The fact that many people fail to remember that recycling in the first place necessitates the expenditure of energy struck me as unfavorable.
In either case, given the operation of the two different types of energy systems, that amounts to a significant number of solar panels and wind farms. More miners will be required to work with coal.
You would assume that once we plug in those sources that do not produce carbon dioxide into the grid, the carbon footprint will decrease. You would be mistaken, according to Duke Energy in North Carolina:
"Crawford provided measurements showing that even on sunny days — when solar power is at its maximum output — more NOx pollution is released into the air than would occur if no solar electricity were used and natural gas was used instead. This is because solar power produces more NOx pollution than natural gas does.
“That’s because typical power plants — including cleaner burning natural gas plants — must scale back electric generation to accommodate solar energy flooding onto the grid when the sun rises, and power back up when the sun sets and solar energy evaporates. That constant starting and stopping lowers efficiency, renders emission control equipment ineffective, and raises overall levels of pollution."
The problem is that renewable energy sources such as solar and wind rely on less volatile baseloads, such as natural gas. If you put a natural gas power plant into stop-and-go traffic with renewable energy generators, you're going to generate more of the stuff that you don't particularly enjoy.
What we really require is something that is trustworthy, reliable, and consistent. Maybe something like … nuclear?
Bitcoin Performs Better Than the ESG
The mining of bitcoins consumes the surplus supply of uncertain energy that these probabilistic systems produce. As a result, demand curves are smoothed down, and "zero carbon" green energy products become economically viable.
Additionally, it prevents or delays the rise in consumers' overall energy expenses. Every watt of energy that is generated by alternative sources of power, such as solar panels installed on private residences, results in a loss of potential revenue for the utility company and, in the event that huge solar farm facilities generate enough power, in actual losses.
The repercussions are piling up one after another.
Who in their right mind would put solar panels on their roof? Those who are financially able to purchase them. Who doesn't? People who are unable to.
Even when people have solar panels, they still need to be linked into the grid because battery technology is not yet where it needs to be. This means that people are dependent on utility providers even though they have solar panels.
Utility providers will be forced to hike rates more quickly than they would have been had to do in the past since they would have less revenue to distribute over the same amount of electricity requirements. They do not have a choice because the demand for solar panels is on the rise and might put them out of business.
Who is impacted by this issue? Those who can least afford it, specifically those who can't afford solar panels to power their homes.
Bitcoin also solves this problem. It has the potential to assist in soaking up excess supply from producers, so enabling utility companies to limit the rate of inflation in electricity prices.
Bitcoin encourages energy that is both clean and abundant, as well as affordable for everyone. The development of green energy can encourage strip mining as well as coal production. Bitcoin is a form of ESG. The ESG does not.
Mickey Koss has kindly contributed this post as a guest blogger. All of the opinions expressed here are completely the authors', and in no way do they represent BTC Inc. or Bitcoin Magazine's positions.