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Sunday, May 19, 2024
Mugglehead Magazine
Alternative investment news based in Vancouver, B.C.

Bitcoin

British Columbia government regulates electricity consumption for crypto miners

British Columbia became the third jurisdiction in Canada in December 2022 to impose limitations on cryptocurrency mining

British Columbia government regulates electricity consumption for crypto miners
Image via Getty

The British Columbia government is pushing measures to regulate electricity consumption by cryptocurrency miners because of issues surrounding high energy use and limited economic benefits.

On Thursday, Minister of Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation Josie Osborne declared that the province is tackling the high energy consumption by cryptocurrency miners in the region.

The ministry conveyed that the legislative amendment would enable the government to prohibit or regulate cryptocurrency miners’ electricity use due to the sector’s potential to make electricity supply to homes and companies expensive due to its “unchecked growth.”

“We’re working with BC Hydro to ensure we have the electricity we need to build a clean economy and power our future, and that includes regulating electricity service for energy-intensive cryptocurrency miners that create very few local jobs,” Osborne said.

In December 2022, British Columbia joined Quebec and Manitoba in imposing limitations on cryptocurrency mining. Authorities temporarily halted approximately twenty-one projects that had collectively requested 11,700 gigawatt hours of power annually.

Minister Osborne announced that the province is working with British Colombia Hydro, the provincial power utility, to ensure sufficient electricity for the province’s future.

“This includes regulating electricity service for energy-intensive cryptocurrency miners that create very few local jobs,” Osborne said.

Read more: Netcoins adds four memecoins to growing list of 45 crypto assets

Read more: Miners and investors brace for the Bitcoin halving

Regulations part of a wider, global movement

In February, the provincial Supreme Court ruled that BC Hydro’s embargo on crypto mining operations was “reasonable.”

At that time, Osborne explained that the measure aimed to conserve electricity primarily for “electric vehicles and heat pumps, and for businesses and industries that are undertaking electrification projects that reduce carbon emissions and generate jobs and economic opportunities.”

British Columbia is the fourth largest electricity producer in Canada, with a generating capacity of approximately 18,250 megawatts (MW).

However, an assessment from the North American Electric Reliability Corporation’s reveals that BC faces a risk to future power generation reliability. The report highlights that generation constraints and rising demand could pose problems by 2026.

Furthermore, electricity demand in B.C. is projected to rise by 15 per cent or more from now until 2030. This is due to factors such as population growth, housing construction and increased industrial development, among others.

Iceland holds a similar goal. Prime Minister Katrín Jakobsdóttir recently announced plans to redirect the country’s renewable energy efforts from crypto mining to agricultural development.

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