Is Solar The Next Big Thing For Cryptocurrency?

With Bitcoin going big, mining has become a costly and intense exercise. It takes a lot of computing power to validate the millions of transactions that happen on a daily basis. This is why environmentalists are down on Bitcoin as a viable mainstream currency. Mining Bitcoin uses the same electrical output as the entire country of Switzerland.

If Bitcoin is adopted by the masses as a legitimate currency, then there will need to be even more servers working overtime to compute and complete the encryptions that are the backbone of the currency.

With climate change front and center in many concerned citizens’ minds, it stands to reason that Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general would need to greenify if they stand a chance at growing.

bitcoin-servers

In this article, we will go over what the future could mean for Bitcoin as it attempts to go green and use solar energy to power itself.

Lines between price and profit

A few years ago Bitcoin was generally stable in its value around $2,000 per coin. This meant that for miners to make a profit they needed to find a cheap way to power the servers to do the computing. Once these companies have mined the cryptocurrency they usually sell it onto the open market to be traded by investors who are looking to convert cash to Bitcoin.

Luckily for them, Bitcoin servers are rather portable in the sense that miners could set up shop anywhere in the world where the cost of energy was cheap.

Now that people are more concerned about the environmental cost of this mining it was not looking good for Bitcoin as a viable currency. At the time, renewable energy was more costly than fossil fuels so it would have cut massively into the profit margin and possibly even seen some losses.

Now, Bitcoin shattered the $20,000 mark per coin and at the same time, the cost of using solar and wind power has dropped dramatically. Suddenly, it is feasible to use solar-powered Bitcoin mining.

This could allow Bitcoin to be adopted by the masses and grow as a currency and still be the responsible thing for people concerned about the environment.

It can go anywhere

There are many places all over the world from deserts to regions around the Equator that get a lot of sunlight year round. And there isn’t much of an economy in those areas which makes it an ideal location for Bitcoin mining centers.

crytpocurrency-mining

They can use solar farms to power the servers and keep costs low since there is no shortage of sunlight. The long days and cloudless skies makes the price per kW hour in those areas very cheap and can compete with fossil fuels.

Another benefit is that bringing cryptocurrency mining centers to those areas can lift the economy. There will be a lot of jobs in construction and maintenance where there was little possibility of work previously.

*This article has been contributed on behalf of Paxful. However, the information provided herein is not and is not intended to be, investment, financial, or other advice.

Factors to Consider Before Subscribing to Community Solar

So you’ve heard of community solar and are now thinking of subscribing to one. Naturally, you want to know if you are qualified for a solar farm subscription. In this article, we will discuss factors that you need to consider before you sign up for a community solar program.

What is Community Solar?

Community solar or shared solar is one of the biggest renewable energy trends to have emerged in the past decade. Compared to residential solar which is mostly individualistic, a community solar project allows several neighboring households to tap into a single solar farm installation.

what-is-community-solar

Instead of installing panels on residential roofs or backyards, solar farm owners set them up at a central location like an open field or even an open body of water. Since it is subscription-based, you will simply receive a portion of the solar energy generated by these farms. Usually, this power will be coursed through your existing power lines, which means you don’t have to get any new gear just to enjoy your subscription. Sounds promising, right?

Am I Qualified for a Subscription?

Just like traditional solar panels, though, community solar programs are not for everyone. Here are some factors that make you a great candidate for community solar:

1. Your utility provider has a solar project

A lot of local energy providers own or manage their own solar farms. This way, you can buy in and ‘fund’ the community project in exchange for rebates in your monthly energy bill. Supporting these utility-sponsored projects will allow you to reduce your own electricity costs while helping your provider reach their goals in terms of building a more balanced energy portfolio.

Check with your utility provider if they have such a project. If they do, then chances are you are automatically qualified to subscribe to it.

2. You live near a solar farm

Utility providers are not the only entities that can own and manage solar farms. Private companies, non-profit organizations, and even local government units can run shared solar projects that you can easily subscribe to.

Sometimes, members of the actual community come together to pitch in the capital for the solar farm, making it purely community-owned and for the benefit of the general public.

In any case, it is required that you live close enough to a solar farm for a viable subscription.

3. You can’t put up solar panels at home

One of the most important considerations when choosing your solar-generating system of choice is feasibility. PV panels will require you to have ample space at home, not to mention the authority to make such installations on the roof (or even on the ground surrounding your house.)

More often than not, you will not be allowed to make modifications to a rented house, even if it’s for something as beneficial as a solar panel system. In this case, subscribing to a community solar program would be your best bet.

solar-powered-home

Even if you live in your own house, though, solar panels may not always be suitable. Not all roofs can accommodate those installations. If your area gets more shade than sunlight, sourcing your solar energy from a shared solar garden might still be the most cost-efficient solution.

4. You move a lot

Flexibility is a prime benefit of having a community solar subscription, as opposed to investing in your own solar system at home. If the nature of your job or lifestyle is that it requires you to move a lot, it just won’t be practical to invest in your own panels because of the sheer effort it would take you to uninstall, transport, and install them all over again with every move.

Going for a solar farm subscription will give you more flexibility when moving since it’s typically easy to suspend or cancel your subscription to one and just subscribe to a different project that’s nearer the place where you’re moving. It’s also a great way to maintain environmental sustainability with every move.

If any or all four of these factors are attendant in your case, then you already know that you possess the golden opportunity to try out a community solar program and see how it works out for you.