Environmental, social, and governance (ESG) analyst Daniel Batten said Tuesday that the computational backbone of the Bitcoin network now uses 52.6% sustainable energy. Batten and onchain analyst Willy Woo created Dynamic Bitcoin ESG Charts to showcase the protocol’s progress.
Contrary to Cambridge University Data, Analyst Says Bitcoin Mining Uses 52.6% Sustainable Energy
These days, there is significant debate regarding the environmental impact of Bitcoin mining. On March 7, 2023, ESG analyst Daniel Batten tweeted about new ESG charts he helped design with Willy Woo that show Bitcoin’s progress toward using 52.6% sustainable energy. They also highlight total emissions, emissions per dollar, and emissions intensity.
Batten shared a sneak preview of the charts and noted that the data will update dynamically. The analyst also said that information about the methodology and the charts will be released soon. ESG analyst Daniel Batten’s Dynamic Bitcoin ESG Charts have been revealed at a time when a number of U.S. politicians, including Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, are expressing concerns about bitcoin mining operations.
Senators Ed Markey (D-MA), Jeff Merkley (D-OR), and Jared Huffman (D-CA) have introduced a bill that would mandate “an interagency study on the environmental and energy impacts of crypto asset mining.” However, politicians and media publications have been accused of using questionable methodology and data to evaluate Bitcoin’s environmental impact.
For example, the Digieconomist blog, which is run by Alex de Vries, an employee of the Dutch Central Bank, has been called a “conflict of interest” due to his affiliation with the bank. Nevertheless, several environmental activists and politicians cite de Vries’ work. Batten’s preview of the chart is not just a flashy display, as the ESG analyst explained his findings and methodology in a recent editorial published on Feb. 19, 2023.
In the article, he discusses the Bitcoin Mining Council report and a study by Cambridge University. Data from the Cambridge Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) is regularly cited by politicians and the press when it comes to Bitcoin and environmental concerns. Batten’s findings in the article indicate that 52.6% of energy used for Bitcoin mining is sustainable. The ESG analyst also outlines his methodology on his website and discusses limitations in the CCAF model.
According to Batten’s study, the researcher’s “overall zero-emission energy figure is 7.2% lower than the BMC data,” however, “it is significantly higher than the CCAF report from September 2022.” Furthermore, Batten was able to “almost precisely replicate” the CCAF methodology that resulted in 37% sustainable energy and then factor in the limitations of the CCAF report to obtain the true number.
Batten maintains that his model is more realistic until the CCAF takes into account off-grid and flare gas mining. “Between September 2022 and June 2023, we anticipate the Bitcoin network to operate on +4.5% more zero-emission power sources,” the report stated. Additionally, the report noted that some critics have claimed that Bitcoin relies on grids that are predominantly powered by coal, but Batten’s and CCAF’s data does not support the coal hypothesis.
Do you believe that the use of sustainable energy sources for bitcoin mining will continue to increase in the coming years? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.