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Kenyan energy company KenGen wants to offer Bitcoin mining companies its excess geothermal energy to help them meet their energy needs.
KenGen, which produces most of its energy from renewables, said miners are asking to buy its energy. The company did not provide any details, but given that there are no Bitcoin mining firms in Africa, it is believed that those who approached it were from the US and Europe.
The plan is to place the miners in an energy park at the company’s main geothermal power plant in Olkaria, Naivasha, 123 km from the capital Nairobi.
“We have space and electricity nearby, which contributes to stability,” said Peketsa Mwangi, director of geothermal energy development at KenGen, during the energy forum.
This step could be a step in the fight against the growing carbon emissions resulting from the mining of cryptocurrencies, whose energy consumption competes with the energy consumption of entire countries.
Kenya has a geothermal potential of 10,000 MW
Kenya is the leading producer of geothermal energy in Africa with an installed capacity of 863 MW, most of which is supplied by KenGen. The country has an estimated geothermal potential of 10,000 MW distributed along the Rift Valley chain.
Overall, 80% of KenGen’s electricity is produced from renewable sources, including hydropower and wind, as well as geothermal energy, but the company does not disclose its excess capacity. Mwangi said miners’ requests for electricity have so far varied.
“Some have asked to start at 20 MW and then scale.”
Bitcoin mining consumes 204.50 terawatt-hours of electricity per year, which is comparable to Thailand’s energy consumption, and is estimated to generate between 22 and 22.9 million metric tons of carbon dioxide emissions per year. The U.S. accounts for 35% of global Bitcoin mining after China banned the cryptocurrency.
Ethereum, the second largest cryptocurrency, consumes as much electricity as the Netherlands. However, the Ethereum blockchain has adopted the Proof-of-Stake system, which reduces energy consumption by 99%.
KenGen says that by offering clean energy, it will contribute to reducing the carbon emissions caused by Bitcoin mining. Meanwhile, the Kenyan government is considering creating a central bank digital currency, but maintains its stance against cryptocurrency trading due to the fraud arising from it.
Author: Anton Zaitsev, Analyst Freedman Club Crypto News
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