Bitcoin Mine, Government of President El Salvador offers Cheap Electricity

In order to lower the cost of producing Bitcoin mines, Nayib Bukele, President of El Salvador offers electricity that is cheap and environmentally friendly. Is it true?

“I have ordered the leadership of La Geo, the state electricity company to plan a very low-cost electricity supply for a Bitcoin mine in El Salvador. In addition, the energy source is renewable and has zero emissions, because it comes from our mountain geothermal energy,” said Bukele.

He made this a few hours after parliament approved a law related to Bitcoin as a legal tender.

What Bukele means is a geothermal power plant (PLTPB) aka geothermal.

Geothermal power generation carbon dioxide emissions are currently approximately 122 kg CO2 per megawatt-hour (MW h) of electricity, approximately one-eighth of coal-fired generation emissions.

El Salvador is indeed the largest producer of geothermal power in the Central America region.
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With the exception of hydroelectric power plants, which are almost entirely owned and operated by the public company CEL (Comisión Hidroeléctrica del Río Lempa), the remaining generating capacity is in private hands and the remaining one is state-owned, namely La Geo.

El Salvador is also one of the countries included in the SIEPAC project, which will integrate the electricity grid. country with the rest of Central America.

SIEPAC is the interconnection of the power grids of six countries in Central America. This project has been under discussion since 1987. New transmission lines were built connecting 37 million consumers in Panama , Costa Rica , Honduras , Nicaragua , El Salvador and Guatemala. This project was completed in 2014.

Regarding the cost of electricity in El Salvador, as of September 2020, it is around US$0.176 (Rp2,511) per Kilowatt hour for households and around US$0.121 (Rp1,726) per Kilowatt hour for business. Compared to in China between IDR 400-600 per Kilowatt hour.

Geothermal energy is an effective, inexhaustible, and renewable resource, as long as mountains continue to actively emit heat.

The same thing was emphasized by National Geographics (NG), that unlike solar and wind energy, geothermal energy is always available, 365 days a year.

"It is also relatively cheap, where savings from direct use can reach 80 percent compared to fossil fuels, such as coal," said NG.

However, according to NG on its website, PLTPB can release small amounts of greenhouse gases such as hydrogen sulfide and carbon dioxide.

"Water flowing through underground reservoirs can take a number of toxic elements such as arsenic, mercury and selenium," said NG again, in addition to the problem of stability of the earth's surface around the mountain from which the heat came. If it is unstable and an earthquake occurs, the electricity supply can be disrupted.
Electricity Thirsty Bitcoin Mine

Bitcoin mining equipment is indeed thirsty for electrical energy, according to Satoshi Nakamoto's initial design, considering that electricity is basically a "currency" that has social and economic value.

Based on data from Cambridge, the total electricity consumption of Bitcoin mines reached 0.42 percent (111.51 Tera Watt Hours) compared to the total global electricity consumption of 20,863 Tera Watt Hours.
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The amount of global electricity consumption is based on data from the International Energy Agency in 2016.

The total electricity consumption of Bitcoin mining which reached 111.51 Tera Watt Hours per year exceeded the total electricity consumption of the Netherlands (110.68 Tera Watt Hours per year).

The 111.51 Tera Watt Hours almost surpassed Saudi Arabia (119.45 Tera Watt Hours) and Pakistan (120.56 Tera Watt Hours).

bitcoin mine

The important issue is that 65 percent of the total Bitcoin mining hash rate is currently concentrated in China. And the country still relies on non-renewable coal energy sources with large emissions.

China itself is reducing the level of carbon emissions, according to the government's program until 2026.

That is one of the reasons why Bitcoin mining activities in the country have been increasingly restricted since early May 2021.

As a result, a number of Bitcoin mining companies want to move to other countries, such as in North America and Eastern Europe.

The tightening has had an impact on the decline in the hash rate over the past few weeks, including the weakening of the Bitcoin exchange rate against the US dollar.


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