Bitcoin mining is becoming a fast-rising industry in Texas. The sector, however, brings with it some concerns. The state’s power sector will have to create infrastructure to develop 5,000 megawatts to support the industry. By their projections, it might need to do so as soon as 2023.
At the moment, Bitcoin mining consumes about 500 to 1000 megawatts. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas believes that the user will be about five times what it is now in 2023. The council is preparing to provide an additional 3000 to 5000 megawatts.
These steps are necessary if Texas achieves its goal of housing 20% of Bitcoin mining activities globally. Texas has become the hub of Bitcoin mining since the Chinese government banned cryptocurrency activities in China. Texas is taking advantage of the influx of crypto miners and has created policies to make Texas a haven for miners.
Concerns About Present Infrastructure
Some Texans are, however, concerned that the council cannot fix current structures. The council’s handling of the state’s power grid came under fire after blackouts left millions in the region without power for days. The situation was terrible because it was a period of extreme cold where people needed to use their heaters, and it revealed that the system had few plans for extreme conditions.
The council gave a report on the 19th of this month which didn’t provide assurances that it had fixed the issues exposed by the blackout. A reporter with the Texas Observer in a tweet said that the evaluation released by the council pointed at the fact that it was still yet to incorporate extreme situations in its planning. Miners are trying to assuage the fears of the residents.
On the 21st of October this year, there were reports that miners were working with authorities to ensure the proper functioning of the grid. Some of the miners plan to use alternative sources of energy. Bitcoin miners are slowly moving towards cleaner energy sources, following pressure from concerned bodies and regulators last year.
Backlash In Other Countries
Even though Bitcoin is slowly getting mainstream acceptance, some countries remain skeptical. At the moment, Sweden is requesting that the EU ban Bitcoin mining. The request comes as the government believes that evening mining of Bitcoin using cleaner sources of energy is harmful.
They believe the government could use those resources used to move other industries away from fossil fuels. The country noted that since China’s ban on Bitcoin, the energy consumption of mining has risen in their country. Now they say that the current power usage by the industry could supply 200,000 houses yearly.
Currently, the government of Texas has not identified plans to tackle issues that may arise from the new demand this industry will place on the power sector. The Texas Standard reports that miners might have to shut down operations when there is a lot of demand on the system. Bitcoin is trading around the $57,500 price point as of right now.