Enel says no to crypto mining, but yes to sustainability


Enel, one of Europe’s largest power utility companies, has announced that they will not be selling renewable energy to crypto mining company Envion.

The Italian utility said in a brief statement to Reuters, they had “no interest whatsoever in selling power” to a mining company.

“Enel has undertaken a clear path toward decarbonisation and sustainable development and sees the intensive use of energy dedicated to cryptocurrency mining as an unsustainable practice that does not fit with the business model it is pursuing.”

Enel said it has reached the decision after a careful study and analysis.

The utility had been in talks with Swiss-based Envion, a provider of crypto mining infrastructure, to provide clean, decentralised power to mobile mining units.

The miners are installed in shipping containers and placed close to the power source. They claim to monetise unused over capacities at solar and wind generation sites, rather than tapping into and impacting the grid.

Utilities worldwide have seen a surge in demand from cryptocurrency miners who need large quantities of energy to power computers to solve complex algorithms to validate transactions and earn more of the currency as a reward.

In a recent report, Morgan Stanley said global power demand from crypto currency mining was around 22TWh, however increasing demand meant consumption could surge in 2018 to 125-140TWh.

Almost 70% of the world’s mining activity takes place in China due to cost effective electricity prices. However, the country is clamping down on crypto trading, which could see miners exploring alternatives such as Canada and India.

Many countries have started exploring the use of renewable energy resources to power their crypto mining activities. China for example, uses coal and hydro power to generate additional capacity.

A Netherlands-based organisation has also tried to harness human body heat as an innovative method to support mining power requirements.


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