Top 5 This Week

Related Posts

Texas Lawmakers Rethink Crypto Mining As Power Needs Soar By 2030

Texas lawmakers are reconsidering their previously welcoming stance on cryptocurrency mining after new projections estimate a massive increase in the state’s electricity needs by 2030.

According to the Houston Chronicle, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) forecasts that the state could require 152 gigawatts of electricity by the decade’s end, compared to last summer’s record of 85.5 gigawatts. This new projection is about 40 gigawatts higher than last year’s estimate, with around 60% of the additional demand attributed to potential cryptocurrency mines and data centers.

This anticipated growth could strain Texas’s power grid, causing concerns among many lawmakers. Also, the grid would need significant infrastructure investments such as new transmission lines, potentially increasing costs for residents.

“I’m more interested in building the grid to service customers in their homes, apartments, and normal businesses and keeping costs as low as possible for them instead of for very niche industries that have massive power demands and produce few jobs,” Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick said. “We want data centers, but it can’t be the Wild Wild West of data centers and crypto miners crashing our grid and turning the lights off.”

State Senator José Menéndez echoed these concerns, highlighting the unfairness of expecting everyday Texans, especially those on fixed incomes, to subsidize grid upgrades for businesses like bitcoin miners. Lawmakers were taken aback by the projected power needs, with Sen. Robert Nichols calling it “the most alarming thing” he had heard that week.

Sen. Donna Campbell inquired whether Texas could limit the influx of data centers due to their high electricity demands. ERCOT’s Vegas responded that better visibility into cryptocurrency mining operations would be more beneficial than outright restrictions. Legislation requiring crypto mining facilities to register with ERCOT has been passed, but full compliance is pending additional regulatory clarity.

Cryptocurrency miners, however, have argued that they help stabilize the grid by reducing electricity use when prices are high and participating in ERCOT’s demand response programs, which pay large electricity users to cut consumption during grid stress. Brian Morgenstern of Riot Platforms claimed that cryptocurrency mines are flexible and cost-effective for managing power loads.

Cryptocurrency mining is an activity that requires immense amounts of energy, a recent report highlighted that bitcoin mining in the U.S. consumes the same amount of electricity that the entire state of Utah, and most of the crypto mining facilities are in Texas. Other estimates suggest a single bitcoin transaction consumes the equivalent of 26 days of an average U.S. household’s power use.

RA Staff
RA Staff
Written by RA News staff.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Award-App Footer

Download our award-winning app