Bitcoin Network Forecast to Contribute 0.90% of Worldwide Carbon Emissions by 2030
Mining Bitcoin (BTC) will use less than 0.5% of the world’s electricity generated over the next ten years. A recent study report from the New York Digital Investment Group predicts this number (NYDIG). The research, named ‘Bitcoin Net Zero,’ was carried out by Castle Island Ventures partner Nic Carter and NYDIG founder Ross Stevens.
According to the study, Bitcoin’s energy usage will not increase in the forthcoming years. The same is true for Bitcoin’s resulting carbon emissions, regardless of whether Bitcoin values rise during the same time frame. Furthermore, the research looked at how changes in Bitcoin’s price, mining complexity, and energy usage may impact the blockchain’s carbon footprint.
Even with the most optimistic BTC price forecast for 2030, Bitcoin emissions would be negligible. “Perhaps in our most ambitious, high-priced scenario, in which Bitcoin hits $10 trillion by 2030, its emissions equate to just 0.9 percent of the worldwide total, and its energy expenditure is just 0.4% of the world total,” academics found.
To reach these numbers, the researchers used data from 2020 to predict future expansion in Bitcoin mining. The historical energy usage of Bitcoin mining was estimated as a function of the blockchain’s hash rate and equipment efficacy. Academics discovered that Bitcoin used 62 terawatt-hours (TWh) of energy in the year 2020.
Mining also generated 33 million tonnes of CO2 emissions in 2021. Energy consumption and emissions amounted for a mere 0.04% and 0.1% of total world statistics, respectively. With this, the authors were sure that 2020’s carbon waste from Bitcoin mining was “inconsequential in global perspective.”
Bitcoin mining now consumes 101TWh per year, or 0.45% of worldwide energy. According to Cambridge University research, Bitcoin consumes greater energy than the whole country of the Philippines. Nonetheless, cryptos use less energy than all of the freezers in the United States collectively. Bitcoin’s energy usage is also just 4.6% of the worldwide average for home air conditioning.
Crucially, the study says that future efforts for “decarbonizing” Bitcoin mining have great potential. Hydroelectric power plants are one illustration, as is using volcanic energy to power mining activities in El Salvador. “Over time, the severity of Bitcoin’s carbon emissions (and therefore Bitcoin’s overall carbon emissions) will decrease as renewables grow and nations seek to decarbonize their power grids.”
Moreover, the research cautions that Bitcoin’s energy use may seem exorbitant when matched with the “annual footprint of whole nations with millions of people.” Nevertheless, the digital asset’s electricity usage may seem insignificant when one considers that “some cities or metropolitan regions in wealthy nations operate at comparable levels.”