HomeIndustry SectorsBusiness and marketsBitcoin mining consumes power at an alarming rate

Bitcoin mining consumes power at an alarming rate

Bitcoin’s current estimated annual electricity consumption is 29.05 billion kWh, representing 0.13% of global electricity consumption, according to Digiconomist’s Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index.

According to UK energy comparison site, Power Compare, bitcoin mining is currently using more electricity than 159 individual countries, RT media added.

If bitcoin miners were one country, it would be ranked 61st in the world, based on electricity consumption, comparable to Morocco or Slovakia.

“If it keeps increasing at this rate, Bitcoin mining will consume the entire world’s electricity by February 2020,” Power Compare reports. Read more…

Bitcoin mining

RT reported that Power Compare also compares global mining revenues, which currently stand at $7.2 billion, with estimated global mining costs reportedly hovering around $1.5 billion.

Adding that the figures show that the world’s number one digital currency is still worth mining.

The above map shows which countries currently consume more or less electricity than that consumed by global Bitcoin mining.

According to Power Compare estimations, 2.4 million Americans could be powered by bitcoin mining (more than the population of Houston).

The number of Britons who could be powered by bitcoin mining equates to 6.1 million (more than the population of Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Manchester, Bradford, Liverpool, Bristol, Croydon, Coventry, Leicester & Nottingham combined) Or Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland.

According to the research, Bitcoin Mining consumes more electricity than 12 US states (Alaska, Hawaii, Idaho, Maine, Montana, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Dakota, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont and Wyoming).

Global Bitcoin Mining consumption compared to each country’s electricity consumption

The map above shows how much more or less bitcoin mining energy consumption compares to each countries energy usage with 100% being equal, the comparison firm said.

Adding that Ireland currently consumes an estimated 25 TWh of electricity per year, so global Bitcoin mining consumption is 116%, or 16% more than they consume.

The UK consumes an estimated 309 TWh of electricity per year so global Bitcoin mining consumption is only equivalent to 9.4% of the UK total.

Power increase

Power Compare explained: “While Bitcoin Mining is only currently consuming 0.13% of the world’s electricity output, it’s growing incredibly quickly.”

The Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index estimates consumption has increased by 29.98% over the past month. If that growth rate were to continue, and countries did not add any new power generating capacity, Bitcoin mining would:

  • Be greater than UK electricity consumption by October 2018 (309 TWh)
  • Be greater than US electricity consumption by July 2019 (3,913 TWh)
  • Consume all the world’s electricity by February 2020. (21,776 TWh)


Featured image: Pixabay

Ashley Theron
Ashley Theron-Ord is based in Cape Town, South Africa at Clarion Events-Africa. She is the Senior Content Producer across media brands including ESI Africa, Smart Energy International, Power Engineering International and Mining Review Africa.