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Focus:  Spanish Startup Plans 100% Solar-Powered Mining Facility to Tackle Bitcoin’s Sustainability Problems

How to make bitcoin more sustainable? Power it with renewables. Tackling the growing problem of blockchain’s massive energy consumption, Malaga-based startup CryptoSolarTech has plans to install 3,000 cryptocurrency mining servers at a facility that will be powered by 100% carbon-neutral solar energy.
Bitcoin and other blockchain-based cryptocurrencies face significant scaling problems because of the large amount of energy required to run servers to verify transactions. As Álex Sicart, a tech prodigy named in Forbes’ 2017 list of 30 most influential young Europeans under 30, said on the sustainability of cryptocurrency, “we either have to make the algorithms used to mine cryptocurrency more efficient or find a way to mine them with renewable energy, like solar energy.” CryptoSolarTech is opting for the latter, with a 15-year contract to purchase solar power generated in Seville. Sicart, who will be serving as a disruptive technology consultant to CryptoSolarTech, also has plans to use blockchain to support peer-to-peer energy sales.

Not all cryptocurrency processors share a dedication to environmental sustainability, resulting in increasing interest in running servers in regions rich in oil and coal. In an extreme example, blockchain mining companies expressed interest in directly taking over a failing coal fired power plant in Montana to power their equipment. Though the company may pay regulated rates for transmission, the coal plant would directly supply the mining facility. CryptoSolarTech seeks to show that renewable resources are a better investment by proving that combining solar power with mining can reduce the costs of mining to near-zero while also minimizing environmental impacts.  Business Insider, Accesswire

California Dreaming Up New Ways for Blockchain to Accommodate Solar Expansion  

With as many as 90,000 new homes that will need solar panels each year under its new rooftop solar mandate, California utilities are looking to new technology to accommodate the rapid expansion. As more homes have both solar panels and battery storage, the likelihood of neighbors seeking peer-to-peer trading is likely to increase. But blockchain also has uses beyond peer-to-peer trading. For example, PG&E, California’s largest utility, is studying the use blockchain for smart contracts to generate clean energy credits. Bloomberg BNA

Peer-to-Peer Going Into High Gear

Blockchain has great potential to revolutionize peer-to-peer trading in the energy sector, a fact the industry has noticed, with increasing numbers of startups focused on just that. Green Power Exchange is one of the most recent and largest entrants into the field, with 62 active projects generating more than 3.3 terawatt-hours of energy per year planned for its 2019 launch. While the company, which plans to create a platform for consumers to use smart contracts to buy power directly from solar projects, will be conducting its initial coin offering (ICO) in the third quarter of this year, its competitors are working to establish themselves with funds from their own ICO’s. For example, Power Leger has plans for microgrids in Puerto Rico and WePower is focusing on starting trading in Spain and Australia this year.  GreenTechMedia

Swiss Mountain Alps Energy’s Out of the Box Solution To Reduce Mining Costs

Swiss Alps Energy (SAE) is thinking outside the box. By dropping boxes of mining equipment high in the Swiss mountains, the blockchain mining company is trying to minimize costs by maximizing efficiency. SAE has placed aluminum cubes filled with mining equipment at high altitudes where waste heat can be more efficiently re-captured because of the low boiling temperature of water and where there is no need for air conditioning as outside temperatures average below 5 degrees Fahrenheit.  NewsBTC

Blockchain’s First Steps Towards Micro-Tracking of Consumer Carbon Footprints

Traditionally, carbon markets have operated on mass scale, making the purchase of carbon offsets inaccessible to consumers. But now, with the help of block-chain, the environmentally conscious ice-cream company, Ben & Jerry’s is piloting a program that leverages blockchain to calculate the environmental impacts associated with a single scoop of ice-cream and offering consumers an opportunity to donate a penny to counterbalance the impacts. The Ben & Jerry’s pilot, which will launch out of its London store, is expected to help consumers’ gain a better understanding of their individual purchases on the environment and make a contribution to the projects, like planting forests or developing renewables, that can offset carbon emissions.  Forbes

Meet the PowerUp Blockchain Team:

Editor -  Carolyn Elefant, founder of PowerUp Legal and Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant is a seasoned energy regulatory attorney who practices at the intersection of regulation and innovation in the energy and legal tech sectors. 

Writer and Curator Yelena Dewald holds a JD from George Washington University Law School and is currently a member of the legal team at the Law Offices of Carolyn Elefant.  
Need an expert to research energy innovations or help your company strategize new business or develop a regulatory policy? Contact PowerUpLegal at or submit a request and we can provide an attorney or policy specialist to assist.
Copyright © 2018 PowerUp Legal, All rights reserved.

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