Crypto mining’s extensive energy consumption, with Bitcoin mining alone accounting for over 0.5% of global energy usage, has raised environmental concerns. This heightened energy demand also results in substantial carbon dioxide emissions, surpassing the output of certain countries, according to recent data.
Marathon Digital’s efforts to tackle environmental impact
Countries worldwide are taking significant measures to address the environmental impact of crypto mining. Recently, Bitcoin miner Marathon Digital Holdings Inc (NASDAQ: MARA) unveiled plans for a new 280-kilowatt (kW) pilot mining project aimed at mitigating these environmental issues. In Utah, Marathon Digital’s pilot project employs methane gas to generate electricity for powering mining operations.
According to recent data, Bitcoin miner Marathon partnered with the renewable energy generator Nodal Power to execute this pilot project. If the pilot project successfully utilizes methane-based operations as expected, Marathon Digital may expand and advance the project to the next level, as stated in the data. Additionally, Marathon Digital Holdings Inc said:
“Marathon’s pilot project is part of a broader initiative being conducted by the Company to validate its ability to capture methane emitted from landfills, convert it into electricity, and then use that electricity to power Bitcoin miners”
A growing trend in the mining industry
Marathon’s project is not the first of its kind in the mining industry. Earlier this year, Vespene Energy, a mining startup, raised funds as they planned to mine Bitcoin by utilizing a similar kind of renewable energy source. Marathon’s Chairman and CEO, Fred Thiel stated,
“The methane naturally produced from landfills, bio waste, and elsewhere is often stranded, and Bitcoin miners like Marathon are uniquely positioned to help convert this harmful gas into a productive source of clean, renewable energy,”
However, according to the data released by the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), methane gas is 80 times more harmful than carbon dioxide once it is released into the environment.
Thiel also said, “At Marathon, we are constantly seeking innovative ways to diversify our operations, lower our energy costs, and leverage the unique aspects of Bitcoin mining to better the environments in which we operate.”