There has been an official announcement by the Government of British Columbia that it will stop supplying power to crypto miners for the time being. In order to explain why cryptocurrency mining has been suspended, the state has stated that it is prioritizing clean energy and job creation.
Clean Energy as an Excuse?
British Columbia Hydro announced on Wednesday that, for 18 months, it will suspend electricity-connection requests from cryptocurrency mining operations in an effort to preserve the province’s supply of clean electricity so that it can support the province’s climate action and economic goals.
By temporarily suspending the cryptocurrency mining operations, the government and BC Hydro will preserve the reliability of the electricity supply in their province, while at the same time giving industry and First Nations sufficient time to engage with the government and develop a permanent framework for any future cryptocurrency mining activities in the province.
Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation, said:
“Cryptocurrency mining consumes massive amounts of electricity to run and cool banks of high-powered computers 24/7/365, while creating very few jobs in the local economy.”
Cryptocurrency miners have shown unprecedented interest in B.C.’s clean, affordable electricity as a result of its clean, affordable electricity. In total, 21 projects have submitted requests for 1,403 megawatts of electricity that will be temporarily suspended due to insufficient funding. As a result of the use of this energy, approximately 570,000 houses, or 2.1 million electric vehicles in British Columbia are able to be powered each year.
In the event that BC Hydro continued to ignore these connections, much of its energy resources that could be used strategically to advance British Columbia’s CleanBC goals would be eroded by cryptocurrency mining projects, leaving little energy left for electrifying projects that could create more jobs, create more economic growth and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
In order to keep B.C.’s clean and affordable electricity available to all of its residents, the Provincial Government has instructed the BC Utilities Commission that BC Hydro can apply for temporary relief from its obligation to provide service to cryptocurrency mining projects for 18 months until a permanent framework has been developed by the government.
In the case of new cryptocurrency mining projects, BC Hydro may not initiate the process of connecting with them, and projects that are in the early stages of the process of connecting with BC Hydro may also be suspended.
As far as cryptocurrency mining projects are concerned, those that have been operational for some time, as well as a small number of those that have been well advanced in BC Hydro’s connection process, will not be affected. Projects that do not mine cryptocurrency or that do not involve the mining of cryptocurrencies will not be affected by the change.