Bitcoin (BTC) miners and companies are turning to nuclear energy to offset the carbon footprint the activity has had on the environment.
Since earlier this year, companies have been looking for ways to make BTC more environmentally-friendly and sustainable, citing numerous options to achieve this.
Compass Mining, a crypto mining company, teamed with tech nuclear startup Oklo to create something called “microreactors” which would enable miners to tap into nuclear energy without building a large power plant. The company is not the only one pursuing cheaper, cleaner energy for the purposes of crypto mining, however.
Talen Energy, another American firm, has said that it will look to build a mining facility to support its latest partner, TeraWulf Inc, a BTC mining company. The facility will be roughly the size of four football stadiums and it will use zero-carbon energy.
According to many of the people behind these projects, including Talen Energy president Alex Hernandez, the pursuit for cleaner energy will result in a better overall impact on the environment.
Meanwhile, researchers from Cambridge University have put an exact value on the energy needed to power up the annual mining operations worldwide with BTC mining using 100 terawatt-hours every year. While this may seem like a small amount, it puts BTC as one of the top-30 electricity consuming countries worldwide.
The issue, according to Cambridge University, is that only 39% of the total energy used in BTC mining in 2020 came from renewable sources. Then, there is the problem of maintaining the hardware that is needed to mine BTC, which is often prone to breaking because of the nature of the machines that have low shelf life and need to be replaced frequently.