Crypto Mining and Electric Vehicles Likely to Impact Future Energy Consumption

Electric vehicles (EVs) and cryptocurrencies are nothing short of evolution in their respective domains. Although both the entities are different from each in terms of their operations, customers being served and working mechanism, etc. But one thing that makes them common is their energy consumption. With the passing time, they both are increasing and so their usage of electricity is likely to grow—which is a concern. 

Reuters reported that an organization responsible for US power grids reliability, North American Electric Reliability Corporation (NERC) registered its concern regarding the same. It said that growing adoption of EVs and crypto mining on the rise would result in increased challenges to the power reliability of the country in upcoming time. 

EV production and adoption prosper with the US Inflation Reduction Act like government policies. While use of bitcoin like crypto increases tends to increase in bitcoin mining—a heavily energy intensive process. Both result in an additional pressure given the demand given the fragile situation of the country’s electrical grid affected by closure of power plants, NERC added.

NERC reliability assessments manager, Mark Olser said that the newer uses of electricity could result in significant altering of the system’s nature, how it is going to be operational and what measures to take to make it able to provide the desired output. 

The agency cited the data estimated by  the California Energy Commission which suggests that the electrical load by 2030 given the plug in of EVs could see a rise of 5,500 megawatts of additional  demand during midnights and 4,600 megawatts at around 10 am on weekdays. This shows a jump of 25% and 20% respectively in comparison to the currency levels. 

Heavy computing power bitcoin miners’ prospective expansion might potentially “significantly affect demand and resource predictions,” according to NERC. The Electric Reliability Council of Texas announced earlier this month a voluntary power reduction scheme for customers, including bitcoin mining operations.

Grid demand will also increase as a result of non-EV energy transition strategies, which mainly rely on electrifying homes and businesses, according to NERC. The closure of coal, nuclear, and natural gas power plants has increased, while the addition of new power generation capacity has lagged.

According to NERC, the Southwest, Northwest, Texas, and New England have sufficient energy and capacity for typical periods but may experience shortages in extreme conditions. California and the Midwest, on the other hand, are at high risk for experiencing electricity shortages from 2023 to 2027.

Nancy J. Allen
Latest posts by Nancy J. Allen (see all)