New York Digital Investment Group (NYDIG) estimates that Bitcoin’s energy consumption will remain below 0.5 % of global carbon emissions over the next decade.
This month, NYDIG released its ‘Bitcoin Net Zero’ research paper, which found that, despite rising prices, Bitcoin’s energy usage and carbon emissions will not soar in the next years.
The analysis, written by Castle Island Ventures partner Nic Carter and NYDIG founder Ross Stevens, looks at how the network’s carbon emissions may alter in the future as a result of price volatility, mining difficulty, and energy use.
Even if the price of BTC skyrocketed by 2030, the study’s most optimistic scenario concluded that Bitcoin’s emission would still be a minuscule part of the global total, concluding:
“Even in our most aggressive, high price, scenario, in which Bitcoin reaches $10 trillion by 2030, its emissions amount to only 0.9 percent of the world’s total, and its energy outlay is just 0.4 percent of the global total.”
Based on data from 2020, the report forecasts Bitcoin mining’s future growth. The researchers analyzed Bitcoin miners’ historical electricity usage as a function of network hashrate and machine efficiency.
Bitcoin consumed 62 terawatt-hours (TWh) of power and produced 33 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions in 2020, according to the authors, accounting for only 0.04 percent of world energy consumption and 0.1 percent of global carbon emissions.
The authors claimed that the carbon footprint of Bitcoin mining would be “insignificant in global terms” by 2020.
BTC mining currently consumes 101 TWh per year or 0.45% of global electricity. The Bitcoin network, according to Cambridge University, consumes more energy than the Philippines as a whole.
However, according to the university, Bitcoin uses less energy than all of the refrigerators in the United States combined, and only 4.6 percent of the total energy used for residential air conditioning worldwide.
The research also stated that the future possibilities for “decarbonizing” Bitcoin mining are quite promising, stating:
“Over the longer term, the intensity of Bitcoin’s carbon emissions (and with it Bitcoin’s absolute carbon emissions) will decline, as the development of renewables continues and countries strive to decarbonize their electricity grids.”