In Costa Rica, thanks to a surplus of green energy, it seems that a hydroelectric plant put on hiatus due to the pandemic has now been given a new life, thanks to its use for mining Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Costa Rica, the hydroelectric plant for Bitcoin mining
A small river in the middle of coffee plantations, sugar cane fields and a forest is reportedly providing green energy to a hydroelectric plant in Costa Rica, which is now being used to mine Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies.
Specifically, it is a single hydroelectric plant that now powers hundreds of computers linked to the cryptocurrency business.
Thirty-five kilometres from the capital San Jose, near the Poas River, there are already as many as eight containers with more than 650 machines from 150 customers who are working non-stop in mining, powered by the plant.
Speaking about this, Eduardo Kooper, president of the family business that owns the 60-hectare Data Center CR farm and plant, said:
“We had to put the business on hold for nine months, and exactly one year ago I heard about Bitcoin, blockchain and digital mining. At first, I was very sceptical, but we saw that this business consumes a lot of energy and we have a surplus”.
Mining breathes new life into the green energy plant
In Costa Rica, the state has a monopoly on the distribution of energy, but it seems that during the pandemic, the government stopped buying electricity and stopped using hydroelectric power plants.
On the other hand, it is now well known that miners are looking for clean and sustainable energy just to get on with their business and that this high demand has found a new market.
And so, after 30 years, Kooper’s Costa Rican plant is now dedicated to its new activity, in a country where there is plenty of green energy.
In this regard, Kooper also stressed that the government should be more aggressive in trying to attract more cryptocurrency businesses, although he did not give specifics.
Mining and sustainable energy: reactions from different countries
The issue of energy consumption from mining has been a matter of discussion and tough choices in recent years.
While China has decided to ban the activity in the country, adopting an “against” position for the whole crypto sector, during August 2021 miners already chose alternatives.
So it turns out that Kazakhstan has been at the centre of the storm for the likes of Bit Mining and Canaan, thanks to its high availability of energy at a distinctly low cost, as well as the cold climate that allows production systems to cool earlier.
Something that would have negatively affected the price of Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies at the very beginning of 2022, due to the street protests triggered by the energy crisis that followed the liberalization of the market.
But other countries have also been embraced by miners, such as Texas, which with its deregulated energy market, each company has complete freedom to choose its supplier, in addition to the fact that the general cost of energy is already low by itself and its production is in abundance.
Remaining in Central America, there is El Salvador which, unlike Costa Rica, is much more exposed to cryptocurrencies, making Bitcoin legal tender from September 2021. El Salvador has opted for the new volcano-powered Bitcoin mining farm, that is using geothermal energy.