(Navreen Malik, WP Bloomberg) – Texas, which is already home to the most vulnerable power grid United States, The capital is expected to suffer from a doubling of electricity demand than Austin.
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Battalion of Miners Cryptocurrencies On the way to the state in search of cheap energy and economic liberalization that will create an increase in demand of up to 5,000 MW over the next two years. The cryptographic migration to Texas has been growing for months, but it is only now becoming clear that the sheer energy needed by these miners – the city’s consumption will almost double that of almost 1 million people by 2020 – is clear.
The boom comes at a time when the power system is already under pressure due to population growth and the state’s strong economy. Even before the new requirement came into effect, the state’s electricity grid proved unreliable. The catastrophic blackout of February plunged millions into darkness for days and eventually led to at least 210 deaths.
Proponents of her case have been working to make the actual transcript of this statement available online. . But it also raises the question of what these miners will do when the state’s electricity demand inevitably exceeds supply: Bitcoin Is it too much or will it put too much pressure on an already overloaded network?
“No one sees the potential size of the investment in cryptography and its energy needs over the next two years, and they are trying to turn it into some kind of strategic plan,” said Adrian Shelley, a Texas consumer lawyer and director of the Office of Defense. The group is the public citizen lobby, which has been harshly critical of the impact of the state’s unregulated energy market.
Here’s what you need to know about Texas, Cryptocurrency and Electrical Grid
Why Texas? – Texas is spreading the red carpet for crypto miners because the former leader, China, has banned the move. Crypto mining requires large quantities Energy, Complicating Beijing’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and increase pre-winter energy supply.
Mine workers migrating to Lone Star State typically rely on 10-year tax breaks, sales tax loans and state employee training, depending on where they are and how many jobs they can offer. In the absence of formal concessions, cheap energy prices and a policy of no government intervention in relation to trade are often attractive.
The argument works: Grid Operator, Texas Electricity Credibility Council, or Yercaud, says by the end of 2022 the global Bitcoin network will be about 20%, rising to 8% to 10% today. Texas Blockchain. Yercaud currently has a mining capacity of 500 to 1,000 MW, which is about 2,000 nationwide. The state phase will add another 3,000 to 5,000 megawatts of mining demand by the end of 2023, he said.
Although this phase may have sufficient overall capacity to meet increasing demand, there will be insufficient power when reliability and demand peak and supply is compromised, according to lid analyst Toby Shee.
“Texas is very supportive of the business and Yercaud is one of the largest regulated power grid in the world,” said Dave Beryl, CEO of Compute North, a mining infrastructure company. His company plans to increase mining capacity in the United States only by 2023, but has pushed this forward to 2022 as demand is high.
Miners operate on all nine U.S. and Canadian power grids, but Voltas Inc. says Texas now has a majority. Greg Dixon, CEO of, said it enables large-scale consumer access and services to meet the demand for cryptocurrencies from the United States. The Chinese are behind this boom, he said.
“They come immediately and write $ 100 million in checks,” he said.
Meanwhile, Texas’ power grid is under pressure as the population has grown from more than 4 million to nearly 30 million over the past decade, part of a boom that has created one of the fastest growing economies in the United States. Austin is the fourth largest city in the state, with more than 3% of Texas residents living.
This is why it can be bad for the network
Although Ergot predicts that mining demand will add up to several thousand megawatts, the grid operator said there is no estimate of how much demand is coming in from miners. He does not know how much his peak demand will be included in the forecast, or how many companies will choose to voluntarily reduce consumption in the event of a disaster. Ercot must have additional materials on hand – at least 13.75% higher than the predicted peak – to help prevent cold or heat wave resistance.
Predicting supply and demand for US networks is already becoming increasingly difficult. Severe storms caused by climate change have disrupted supply, and much of the electricity now comes from uninterrupted solar and wind. Increase of Vehicles It becomes difficult to predict where and when electrical devices will be connected. In addition, Tom Dietrich, CEO of Idron Inc., said the mine was “a huge changeable load”, providing applications with on-demand capabilities.
Taken together, the grid will have the wrong power at the most needed time for the state. Texas’ unfulfilled priorities in the energy sector and the massive failure of energy demand forecasts in February ended in disaster: millions of people in the dark, with more than $ 20 billion in damage and calls for reform in the state’s energy sector.
“The impact of the Bitcoin mine will only increase peak demand, thus increasing the pressure on the grid,” said Ben Hertz-Sharkel, global head of grid edge at Wood McKenzie’s division of energy consultancy. “In times of scarcity, such as February this year, the Bitcoin mine will make a useless contribution to the available inventory.”
Critics say the large amount of new demand for mining could increase energy costs for the average consumer, although no one has been able to calculate how high prices could rise. When the city of Plattsburgh in New York’s upstate attracted cryptocurrencies, they initially used all of the cheap spare hydropower, resulting in higher costs throughout the city; In the end, it was necessary to determine the fees for miners, which would be less costly for all other users.
“They flipped the switch and all of a sudden we realized – alas! – where did this electricity consumption come from?” Said Mayor Christopher Rosenquest.
Another detail that goes unnoticed about the mine: its energy intensity will continue to increase as the system is designed to make it harder to extract every increasing coin. Miners are evolving from small “cores” that use more energy, from their massive foundations to connections to servers installed in large, refrigerated warehouses.
Ed Hirsch, energy colleague at the University of Houston, warns that Texas and cryptography are not a good mix.
“Who benefits from bitcoin mining? It does not provide jobs or pay taxes, ”he said. “There are some welfare issues in this matter. I think a lot of people tend to ignore it until the crisis occurs.”
This is why it is good for the network
The crypto industry’s argument for why this makes sense in Texas is simple: it’s good for energy conversion and good for the environment. The miners will create waves of new wind and solar efforts by signing long-term contracts, accelerating the state’s transition from coal. Mining activities can act as a balancing act, otherwise absorbing the excess clean energy that is wasted. Elon Musk Tesla said it will allow Bitcoin transactions to resume once the mining is done with more clean energy.
Unlike an oil plant or refinery, crypto miners can reduce their power consumption in seconds to allow for harsh phase conditions. The tunnel wants to draw parallel to the battery storage technology, which will be activated whenever needed.
The crypto mine is “the best demand; It could go down very quickly, ”said Gary Beavens, former operations manager for the state network, who now serves as an independent market observer at Potomac Economics. “Similarly, if this load never exists, there is no need to reduce it.”
Some miners voluntarily opt for paid plans to sell electricity back to the grid in times of high demand – for the greater good and their own cash flow. For example, if a mining company had contracted $ 50 per megawatt of electricity, it could have sold that electricity for $ 9,000 during the February crisis and pocketed the difference.
The 300-megawatt minefield at Rocktale in central Texas was acquired by Riot Blockchain Inc. earlier this year. Acquired, called Whinstone, is one of two features that Yercaud has so far applied to the industry’s premium “controllable inventory resources” scheme that allows the grid operator to automatically reduce or increase power consumption when needed. Another project is the 50 MW installation of Compute North in Big Spring, West Texas.
Last weekend, after two factories went offline, Yercaud ordered the Winstone site to be reused on consecutive days. “The power of our machines dances and rises and falls based on what our software tells us to do, and it helps stabilize the grid when another generation comes,” said Chad Everett Harris, CEO of the facility. Harris said it closed voluntarily on Feb. 11 when temperatures dropped in Texas, and began cutting electricity three days ago to save the Ercot phase.
In fact, Voltas said miners now lose the ability to do much of their good – to reduce production to help the network, even at the risk of reducing their own profits – otherwise they are helping to transform energy. ‘Dixon. That’s why he thinks companies will do the right thing whether restrictions are lifted or not.
“This is the elephant in the room,” he said. “If they shoot him, they destroy themselves.”
Translation: Anna Maria Dale Luce
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