If plans come to fruition Morocco could become the location for one of the biggest blockchain-powering energy operations in the world.
Soluna the computing company that generates its own renewable energy has revealed plans to build a 900-megawatt wind farm south of Marrakesh suggesting that such a move may well significantly push crypto mining towards a far more sustainable era.
The site in Dakhla, on the edge of the Sahara Desert, by the Atlantic Ocean is known as a class 1 wind site with wind speed reaching higher than 22mph. The site covers 37,000 acres and should produce 900 megawatts as an off-grid operation.
Bitcoin mining has become a contentious issue with opposing view on each side of the ecological divide. Critics argue about the consumption of vast amounts of energy, often citing the Irish example to support their argument citing the entire network now consumes more power than the Irish Republic in its entirety. Digiconomist estimates that Bitcoin consumes more power than some countries, such as the Irish Republic, Chile, and Austria.
John Belizaire, CEO of Soluna, argues that this approach misses the point:
“Some have accused crypto miners of being extractive… In contrast, one of our core values is to invest in local economies. By building our own power and operating data centres, we bring investment dollars, create jobs, and (notably) don’t take away from the existing stock of energy to the local region.”
Soluna is backed by NY private equity firm Brookstone Partners which specializes in acquisitions and growth capital. One of their current projects is to convert wind energy into electrical energy for the purpose of mining cryptocurrency, being the cheapest source of energy available.
It is estimated that by the end of 2018 the Bitcoin network will be using over 125 terawatt hours per year. The issue here for many is its carbon footprint as the network is mostly fueled in China by burning coal, as this is a low-cost energy source.
Utility-scale renewable green energy sources such as the project planned for Morocco have enormous potential for the future if crypto mining continues to grow at its current rate.
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