Crypto miners ousted in China’s crackdown chose Texas due to its cheap electricity but the state’s power grid is already blinking amidst the summer heat.
As of 2019, Texas’ electricity has been generated from wind and the state is rich in renewable energy and a highly deregulated power grid.
Due to this, the state is an obvious choice for migrating crypto miners from China and other countries.
However, the Electric Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT) pleaded with its citizens to curb their electricity usage amid the recent heatwave.
This is because a lot of households are turning up their air conditioners this week.
According to the agency, an estimated 12,000 megawatts of generation capacity was offline last Monday.
That was already enough to power 2.5 million households.
It added that the scale of forced outages is very concerning.
ERCOT also warned that if Texans failed to follow the agency’s request, a widespread winter power outage will affect 69% of households.
In addition, roughly half of the state will be out of water supply in February.
An analyst said that this phenomenon could result in up to 700 deaths in Texas.
A researcher tweeted her concern over her state sharing electricity to bitcoin miners.
She stated that the citizens are already asked by the government to reduce aircon use and not to run washing machines and other appliances which greatly affects their daily lives.
She added that in this time of power grid stress, Bitcoin mining should be the first ones to be shut down.
On the other hand, Bitcoin miners argued that the mining operations can alleviate the state’s power problems by incentivizing miners to sell the power back to the state’s grid.
China Mining Ban
On Tuesday, June 15, a CEO of a Bitcoin mining equipment company argued that China’s mining ban should make room for green-energy users.
He said that a ban on Bitcoin mining failed to be considered as a potential economic benefit that can arise from embracing green-energy mining.
He also added that mining could give a solution to the oversupply of electricity in particular regions in the country.
Meanwhile, the Cambridge University’s Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (BECI) estimated that China represented 65% of the world’s hash power as of April last year.
Earlier in June, district officials in Western Xinjiang and Yunnan released notices which mandated the suspension of virtual currency mining enterprises.
BECI estimated that these two regions accounted for 40% of the country’s hash rate.