Bitcoin mining to boost UK’s renewable energy grid

The mining of Bitcoin offers numerous potential use cases beyond maintaining network security and integrity, such as utilizing GPUs to power machine learning and large gaming setups.

One United Kingdom Bitcoin organization — Bitcoin Policy UK — is advocating for its use to support sustainable grids and renewable electricity generation.

Bitcoin Mining FTW

A report released by the organization on July 10 suggested that the Bitcoin mining industry, which is a major purchaser of electricity, could be a key to making the intermittent supply of power from renewable grids both “robust and viable.” 

According to the report, Bitcoin mining stands to be one of the few, if only, technologies that provide a “completely elastic demand for spare renewable energy.” It said this sets a “floor” price and monetizes the supply of energy that would otherwise go unutilized or even “curtailed at cost.”

It argued that it essentially could require zero subsidies or payments from the government, while using any and all stranded or wasted energy available.

“Bitcoin mining is the perfect technology to solve the issues we face in the viability of our energy ambitions, and it currently has zero large-scale penetration in the UK market.”

In Texas, Bitcoin mining is already in play as a flexible load. Miners provide an interruptible load which can be instantaneously shut off to respond to grid demand and repower after the demand dissipates. 

Related: General election could delay crypto regulation by months — CryptoUK

The report said this could solve the issue of the commercial viability of the UK’s energy security strategy targets, providing assurance for renewable energy providers that there is a buyer for all the energy they produce and their projects wouldn’t go underutilized.

New government new strategy

Bitcoin Policy UK is pushing for this new strategy in light of the UK elections that were held on July 4.

In these elections, a new Labour government took power and subsequently announced its plan to establish a National Wealth Fund worth £7.3 billion ($9.3 billion USD) to support green industries.

In response to the win, the local crypto community called for a more consistent policy on crypto.

Freddie New, Bitcoin Policy UK’s co-founder and head of policy, told Cointelegraph that they are using this moment to advocate for good policies that “protect and preserve the rights” of the millions of U.K. citizens who hold Bitcoin.

According to the organization’s co-founder the previous government had “high hopes” of turning the UK into a “crypto hub” but fell short of that goal. 

“… during their tenure we saw businesses unable to open or operate here, owing to poorly conceived regulation, and a series of opportunities missed, particularly in terms of understanding how Bitcoin is not merely a financial instrument for speculation.”

He elaborated that the Bitcoin mining industry has “considerable” untapped potential for stabilizing and monetizing sustainable power grids, while reducing methane and biogas emissions if co-locating on farms or near landfills.

New said they are looking forward to working with the new government on Bitcoin-related policies.

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