Why Bitcoin Data Centers Are Saving Lives This Winter
The energy grid is in trouble. Due to the increasing demand for electricity and the aging infrastructure of many regions, we’re seeing power outages that leave millions of people without access to light or heat. In some cases, these outages can be deadly. For Example, in Texas on February 2021 (Winter): Minimal Bitcoin Data Centers were online in Texas, a record cold front swept through the state, and the grid was destabilized, leaving hundreds of thousands of people without access to electricity (heat) resulting in a tragic 246 recorded deaths.
In the following year, in December 2022 (Winter): Due to rapid growth in Texas, there is an average of 1.5 Gigawatt of energy being allocated/consumed by Bitcoin Data Centers. A similar cold front swept through Texas, yet not a single person went without electricity and heat, resulting in ZERO deaths. (One reported tragic passing but unrelated to lack of electricity).
So, why is it that a first-world Country and State with ample access to shelter, electricity, and heat (compared to other less established counties), could allow 246 people to pass due to no electricity, yet the following year, no one passes away with the same if not worse recorded cold weather?
The Answers are due to several grid improvement factors, the main one being Bitcoin Data Centers instantly giving that previously mentioned 1.5 Gigawatt of energy back to the grid in crises or other peak demands.(reference, 1.5 GW or Gigawatt = powering around 1.5 Million Homes, So in this case, Bitcoin data Centers instantly gave back 1.5 Million homes worth of electricity for heating in times of crises).
Let’s Dive into what all of this means in Lamen’s Terms.
The energy grid is under pressure
The energy grid is under pressure.
The power grid is not able to meet the demand.
The power grid is not able to keep up with the demand.
The power grid is not able to meet the peak demand.
The power grid is not able to keep up with the peak demand.
What does this mean for us? It means that if your power goes out, it will take a long time for them to get it back up and running. In the meantime, you’re sitting in the dark with no heat or air conditioning.
So how did Bitcoin Data Centers give Energy back to the grid? Through their use of renewable energy and other technologies, they are able to reduce the overall demand on the grid within seconds on automated software. In short, this means that they do not contribute to the problem of overcapacity. When the power grid is under stress, Bitcoin Data Centers will reduce their energy consumption. The reduction in demand for electricity is enough to keep the grid from going down. This means that when you go home and plug your computer into an outlet, it still works because of Bitcoin Data Centers.
Mining can be ‘green’
Bitcoin mining is a low-carbon activity. That’s right. Bitcoin mining is a green industry! There are plenty of ways to mine for bitcoins that don’t involve burning fossil fuels or biomass (such as trees). Some bitcoin miners use hydroelectric power, wind turbines, Nuclear, and solar panels to generate electricity.
Many people think of “green” as meaning an environmentalist who likes to hike in the mountains while they save the planet from global warming by recycling their cans and avoiding plastic bags at the grocery store. But the word ‘green’ also has another meaning: it means something that sustains life—like growing plants or raising cattle on a farm without using pesticides or herbicides. We at GeoBitmine feel that we are solving and leading these initiatives.
Data centers can be demand response assets
Data centers are a type of industrial load, and they can be programmed to reduce their power consumption during times when demand is high. They can also be programmed to increase their power consumption during times when demand is low. In fact, some data center operators have done this before and received financial rewards for doing so.
Bitcoin miners reduce their electricity use during peak periods or even increase their electricity use during off-peak periods. This means that Bitcoin miners are potentially helping save lives by reducing energy usage during extreme heat waves or cold snaps that result in blackouts and brownouts. Here is an article on how Bitcoin Mining Data Centers recently helped the grid. https://www.coindesk.com/business/2022/12/26/bitcoin-miners-powered-off-as-winter-storm-battered-north-america/
Responsible miners are actually helping the grid.
In addition to using renewable energy sources, Bitcoin miners are actually helping the grid. Bitcoin miners have been working with utilities to improve their infrastructure and make it more efficient. In fact, many of them are even working together with utilities for things like demand response and capacity on the grid!
This means that whenever there is a crisis or high demand in power consumption, bitcoin miners can temporarily shut down some of their operations so that they don’t overload the system and cause issues for everyone else. This also helps keep track of how much electricity these facilities consume so we can get an idea about what percentage of our power comes from renewable sources like wind, hydro, and solar energy versus coal plants or fossil fuels.
It’s important to remember that the world of Bitcoin mining is still relatively new, and as such it’s hard to predict what its long-term impact will be on our energy grid. However, it’s clear that data centers are already having an impact on this sector through efficiencies in design and operational practices. The industry has made huge strides toward sustainability in recent years, and miners have helped lead the way with their demand response schemes. We see no reason why these trends won’t continue into the future—and if they do, then maybe some of those new efficiencies could even help save lives someday…Wait!!! That someday just happened, and we are proud to be a part of the solution saving lives and offering aid to stabilize the energy grids better.