Bitcoin mining: The missing piece in the energy transition?

Bitcoin mining consumes electricity in a uniquely flexible way, making the process highly suitable for stabilizing electricity systems through a mechanism called demand response.

The current transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy reduces the flexibility in electricity systems globally. The need for demand response is therefore increasing. In this blog post, I explain why we desperately need to increase the flexibility in electricity systems and evaluate if bitcoin mining can be a solution. The blog post is based on the author’s master’s thesis, where a case study of how bitcoin mining is used as demand response in Texas was undertaken.

This blog post is based on Jaran Mellerud’s master’s thesis: “Bitcoin mining as a demand response: A case study of the ERCOT-system in Texas”.

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Bitcoin Mining as a Demand Response in an Electric Power System

Flexibility: A crucial but often overlooked factor in electricity systems

In electricity systems, supply and demand must be balanced in real-time since electricity cannot easily be stored. The electricity supply going into the system must equal the demand at all times. If the supply gets higher than the demand, transmission lines or other equipment can get fried. On the other hand, customers will be out of electricity if the supply gets lower than the demand.

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