The Japanese Kumamoto-Energy, producer and supplier of local energy in the city of Kumamoto, has revealed that recently started using solar energy to mine cryptocurrencies. This is another example of how, contrary to the media hysteria of the media, the extraction of cryptocurrency can allow a greener future using renewable energies. Kumamoto-Energy Co Ltd announced on February 20, 2018 that it had set up a subsidiary company that operates a virtual currency mining operation called OZ Mining in November 2017. The company claims that it intends to effectively use its electricity surplus by extracting cryptocurrencies with the output of its solar power generating facilities. Kumamoto-Energy is affiliated to TakeEnergyCorporation Co Ltd which operates “mega solar systems” in the prefecture of Kumamoto.
The company explains that OZ Mining purchases electricity from Kumamoto-Energy on a stable basis at a price of 10-19 yen / kWh (depending on the area, contract and season) and creates data center plants (mines) and drilling rigs on containers, which can be installed wherever power is available, depending on the customer’s needs. In addition, it manufactures and sells systems with which more miners can cooperate. One of the most violent attacks on cryptocurrencies is that their generation process is expensive and hungry for power. It is said that the mining industry is absorbing power plants and growing exponentially until much of the electricity on earth is used to create coins. Especially Bitcoin mining now consumes more energy than some countries and will lead to an environmental disaster if not controlled. This news from Kumamoto, however, shows that in some cases digital currency can facilitate a potentially greener future. Many sources of renewable energy such as solar, wind, hydroelectric and geothermal are in remote places far from consumers. They are also uneven in their returns compared to traditional and more polluting sources. By using excess capacity, the crypto economy is making renewable energy more accessible and profitable at a distance and is therefore much more likely to be exploited.