Seven leading mining firms across the United States are utilizing 1,045 megawatts of electricity, a new Congressional investigation revealed. This is sufficient to power a city the size of Houston, Texas which has 2.3 million residents.
Energy consumption is likely to increase as the firms are looking to add more mining rigs in the near future. Marathon Digital, as per the report, operated around 33,000 rigs as of February. It plans to add 199,000 rigs in the next two years. The companies want to boost their cumulative consumption by at least 2,399 megawatts in the coming years. But it remains unclear as to whether they will continue with expansion plans amid the ongoing crypto bear market.
Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts says the limited data shows that crypto miners are large energy users – accounting for a significant and rapidly growing amount of carbon emissions. The negative impacts include rising power costs for residents in the states like Texas, and the power grid in regions hosting such companies faces strain to serve local residents.
Through the latest report, Democrat lawmakers want to compel mining companies to report on their electricity consumption regularly. The Crypto mining industry claims that it can spur the growth of affordable renewable energy but it’s hiking electricity bills and increasing carbon emissions. The fact is that crypto mining’s enormous demand for electricity is spiking faster than the grid can reasonably keep up with. A spokesperson for the Electric Reliability Council of Texas said crypto mining is set to increase demand on the grid by 27 gigawatts (a single gigawatt is one thousand megawatts) by the year 2026. The spokesperson highlighted that there are over 27 gigawatts of crypto load that are working on interconnecting over the next four years.
Joshua Rhodes, a research associate at the University of Texas, believes its astronomically impossible load to add to the grid. He said 27 gigawatts of crypto would put too much stress on the system too fast. And there are barely enough power plants.