As crypto currency critics moan and groan about the energy used by mining BTC (Byte-coin) , they fail to understand the mechanism and the reality and relationships of money and energy.
These are my own thoughts and musings about energy and electricity. Please don't blame FNL Crypto; as they only offer me a platform for my observations . Feb 4, 2022, in North Texas; we experienced a major snow and ice storm. 1/4 inch of ice, and 2 inches of snow. And yes, this is a major event for this part of the world.
Our Dept of Transportation probably has 2 snow plows for every 1000 miles of hi way . And it sets unused for years.
Most of the energy we use for our homes and businesses is consumed by Air Conditioning , not heating. We have tons of all natural solar heat. Thank you very much. But this is home, and we have learned to live with heat outside and air-conditioning inside. If you live south of the Mason Dixon line, you understand how we like our A/C.
And once every few years we see snow. A forecast for snow will cause a panic and all the shelves at the grocery stores are wiped clean as people fear freezing to death and being hungry as they die. It is truly a sight to see. Anyway, back to this BTC mining story.
As I write today, TEXAS Blockchain Council members announced they would suspend crypto mining operations during this peak energy demand period. This is not news. This is reality as the crypto mining operators normally have contracts with energy providers to utilize the excess ( and orphaned ) energy produced by renewable energy projects. Ice and snow put a huge demand on the existing electric grid. During this period, many renewable energy projects suffer reduced output due to the weather.
You see, you can not use solar power during the hours of darkness. It just does not work out. Until feasible storage devices are brought to the market, the energy of these huge solar projects is used as it is generated. If there is too much energy; it goes to waste. At this time; you cannot possibly store this amount of energy. So, sunny day with mild temps produce excess power from the solar panels.
Now, let's talk about Wind Power. On a cold calm day (or night) the blades of these immense wind generators are also calm. Not moving. Also, during a very windy storm; the blades shut down so that they will not self destruct from high winds. The huge maintenance costs make these projects unprofitable and unfeasible except that they are highly subsidized by taxpayer funding. Also, you cannot store this energy. Use it or lose it.
So, then comes crypto currency to the energy market place. They have funded so many new energy projects that provide a cushion for the times when we need lots and lots of power to heat our homes and businesses and schools.
When our existing power grid is pushed beyond it's limits, the new generating projects shift the power to the homes and hospitals and schools merely by turning a switch. When the demand for power goes back to normal; the crypto miners start using the power from all these new projects they paid to have installed and working. (some renewables, and some conventional power) Orphaned power is a different and very interesting story . See the cost of money as to some of the economics of energy and money. HERE.
As crypto currency critics moan and groan about the energy used by mining BTC (Bitcoin) , they fail to understand the mechanisms and the reality of money and energy and the challenges of providing power 24/7. This 24/7 demand for electricity is why we must use fossil fuel generators to keep the lights on at home ,etc.
Natural gas is cleaner fuel that coal, but until we do away with both, we cannot have our cake and eat it too. If you are truly committed to green energy, then please turn off your lights during the night, and on calm days. Only charge your electric car from a wind or solar device (when they are working). Do not use a mixture of renewables and old school power and declare you use 100% renewable power.
And to the people in Congress that bitch about the energy usage of crypto mining, how much energy do you waste in your big buildings and your trips to see the world?
With all the hot air expended from the hearings, you must have a helluv an A/C bill.
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