Bitcoin Mining Could Help Scale Solar Power, Report Reveals
A report has revealed how integrating Bitcoin mining into solar storage systems can improve the scalability and reliability of grids.
Bitcoin Mining’s Properties Mean That It Goes Well With Solar Power Systems
There are many challenges that come with solar-based systems that arise out of the nature of the energy and the state of the current storage technology. As solar energy can fluctuate due to weather and other reasons, storage is necessary to establish some reliable output. However, large-scale storage can be very expensive.
This can make it difficult to scale solar to large systems without also losing profitability at the same time. There is also the problem that the energy demands of an area can sometimes wildly fluctuate, so the plant may produce large amounts of excess energy that can’t be easily stored.
One solution can be Bitcoin mining, as a report published by Ark Invest suggests. A BTC miner, if incorporated into a solar system, would simply be able to absorb any excess energy arising, and produce BTC tokens that can then be sold to break even on the costs, or even turn a profit.
In this way, any excess energy produced wouldn’t be wasted. According to the report, a solar power system with a BTC miner can help provide 99%+ of end-user demand without losing any profitability.
The below chart shows how the battery size for a solar installation can be scaled with the help of BTC mining while the costs still remain about the same:
The percent of end-user electricity demand that can be met with each size of the battery | Source: Ark's Big Ideas 2023
As displayed in the above graph, without the use of Bitcoin mining, the battery size of the solar installation can only be increased by a small amount before the Levelized Cost of Electricity (LCOE) also goes up. The LCOE here is a measure of the average cost of energy production over the lifetime of the installation.
If a BTC miner is integrated into the system, however, the scalability considerably improves. From the chart, it’s apparent that the size of the solar battery can be increased 4.6 times under this setup and the LCOE will still remain.
This installation can also then reliably cover more than 99% of the end-user demand. Compared to this, the non-BTC miner system would have only met a maximum of 40% of the demand, before the profitability would have dropped.
The reason that Bitcoin mining is fit for this purpose lies in its several unique properties: modularity, flexibility, and movability. Bitcoin mining farms are made up of hundreds of mining rigs, each of which is functioning independently of the rest. This means that any one of them can be turned off without affecting the rest.
These rigs can also be easily transported due to their small size and compact nature. And finally, if need be, the energy input of these machines can also be increased or decreased in small increments. This means that no matter the amount of excess energy produced, these machines can still easily absorb it.
At the time of writing, Bitcoin is trading around $23,900, up 3% in the last week.
Looks like BTC has seen some rise in the past day | Source: BTCUSD on TradingView
Featured image from Dmitry Demidko on Unsplash.com, charts from TradingView.com, Ark Invest