Solar-powered crypto mining! Is it the next big thing? How profitable can it be to move from utility electricity and a 9-to-5 to solar power in crypto mining? That’s what this article intends to cover in detail.
Crypto mining has been on the rise for the past decade, with hundreds of different crypto coins entering the market. However, despite this being the most profitable gig of the decade, it has had its own share of drawbacks and challenges. For instance, energy consumption has been its biggest challenge.
Typically, crypto mining requires miners to build computer rigs, which require huge amounts of processing power to enable the process. And these rigs also use a lot of electricity during the mining process.
For this reason, the process of mining these coins always tend to be quite expensive, leading miners to look for alternatives. Generally, the need for larger profits, coupled with the ongoing debate on sustainable living, has led the miners into considering renewable energy sources, solar being one of the major options.
However, there is still this uncertainty about whether solar-powered crypto mining is feasible or not. Can it offer the much-needed cost-profit balance? That’s our main question today.
What is Solar-Powered Crypto Mining
When we talk of solar-powered crypto mining, all we mean is using solar panels to generate electricity used to power the crypto mining rigs. This is different from traditional crypto mining, which relies on utility power, typically from fossil fuels like coal and natural gas to generate electricity.
As we already know, fossil fuels have devastating effects on the environment. They release harmful greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, being the chief cause of climate change and global warming. And, since the crypto mining process uses a lot of power, it’s evident that reducing its use can be beneficial to the environment.
In addition, using electricity for the mining process seems to be quite expensive. For example, according to Investopedia, the amount of power used globally in mining Ethereum uses the same electricity share as a small country. That’s just one coin!
Now, imagine how much power the crypto industry needs, with over 12,000 different crypto coins being mined. That’s why there’s that increasing need to find an alternative.
Using solar power in the crypto mining process seems like a great alternative. For starters, solar power is a renewable energy source that doesn’t have the above-mentioned negative effects. It doesn’t lead to climate change due to carbon emissions, as the process harnesses the natural power of the sun.
The only issue that we must be keen to understand is whether shifting to solar-powered crypto mining is cost-effective. Will the shift have any significant change in the operational costs?
Or is it moving from one cost-intensive source of energy to another?
Do Solar Panels offer a Cheaper Crypto Mining Option?
The truth is solar power is certainly cheaper than electricity. Why?
With solar power, all you need is the initial investment, and the rest is almost free. For instance, after you buy your solar panels and pay for the system installation, you don’t need to pay any monthly power bills anymore. The panels will be harnessing renewable solar energy from the sun, which is free and widely available – and they still work when it’s cloudy!
It’s for this reason that mining companies, with enough resources to set up big solar power plants, are finding it an excellent option. For example, Merkel documented one Reddit user who said he had started a desert-based crypto mining scheme using solar power.
The user said he had set up a bitcoin mining operation with 25 mining rigs. Each rig costs around $8,000, including the cost of solar panels, batteries, power controls, and the ASIC processor.
Also, he indicates that he has run the operations for more than a year and is even anticipating setting up more rigs. According to him, each miner is able to make a profit of $18 a day, which is certainly a good profit.
Achieving the Mining Costs, Crypto Prices Balance
The profitability of any business is determined by the balance between production costs and selling prices. And crypto mining is not any different.
For crypto mining to be profitable, the cost of mining these coins must be lower than their selling prices in the market.
Now, with the current unstable crypto prices, miners are struggling to make good profits. But, if they can keep the mining operation costs low, they can manage to strike a balance and make profits.
Since the high cost of mining is mainly due to high power bills, finding a way to eliminate them is always welcomed. If solar-powered crypto mining is cheaper and adaptable in the crypto market, this can easily solve the power cost menace.
How Many Solar Panels does Bitcoin Mining Require?
Generally, this depends entirely on your power usage, the amount of sunlight your location gets, and the type of solar panels. The percentage of the operation you want to be powered by the solar system also determines how much power you need to generate.
However, on average, you need between 450 and 500 watts to power a single bitcoin mining rig. But, it can shoot even up to 1500 watts if you run multiple GPUs (graphics processing units).
On average, solar panels installed in sunny areas generate around 229 watts for every square meter. Therefore, experts estimate that mining bitcoin requires around 6-12 square meters of these solar panels to operate one rig. This takes into account factors like cloud cover and nighttime, when no solar power is being generated.
You should also note that you require a good solar battery system for your operations. This will help you to store the power generated during the day to be used at night or on cold days.
See related: Can You Claim Solar Tax Credit Twice?
What is a Bitcoin Mining Rig?
A bitcoin mining rig is basically a computer that performs the hashing algorithms needed to mine bitcoins.
The main components of these rigs include;
- ASIC chips (Application-Specific Integrated Circuit)
- Power supply unit
- Graphics processing unit or GPU
- cooling system
- A hard disc 100 to 250 GB large (used to hold the crypto wallet)
Building a mining rig is the first step if you want to mine bitcoin or any other crypto coin. ASIC chips are among the most important parts of these rigs since they determine how many cryptos a rig can mine. They are designed for one specific purpose only, making them more efficient.
ASICs are way more powerful than GPUs and can process hashing algorithms at a much higher speed. However, they are also known to consume vast amounts of energy and can generate a lot of heat. So, you must have an efficient cooling system to make sure your chips don’t overheat and break down.
The other parts of the rig are pretty much standard computer components.
Cost of Buying Solar-Powered Bitcoin Rigs
The average cost of a solar bitcoin mining rig varies for individual miners. GPUs are the main determinants of this cost.
The more GPUs an operation requires, the more expensive it will be. However, this will also translate to more bitcoins being mined and large potential profits.
On average, a GPU costs from $300 to something above $1000. And on the other hand, a complete bitcoin-mining rig goes for something between $3,000 and $10,000. This cost is dependent on the number of GPUs.
Here is a list of some popular bitcoin rigs and their prices:
|Bitcoin Rig||Hash Power||Cost|
|Antminer S19||95.0 TH/s||$6k-8.5k|
|AvalonMiner 1246||85.0 TH/s||$7k – 9k|
|Antminer S19 Pro||110.0 TH/s||$8k-11k|
|WhatsMiner M30S++||112.0 TH/s||$2,850|
Additionally, the cost of installing a solar panel system should be factored in. That is if you are doing solar-powered crypto mining.
The good thing is that this is a one-time cost. And in the long run, it offsets the high power costs associated with crypto mining.
Here is the average cost of popular solar panels in the US:
|System Size||Cost Before Tax Credits||Cost after Cost Credits|
Solar-powered bitcoin mining is slowly gaining popularity as more miners are realizing its potential. With time, more innovation in this field is inevitable. In fact, it might not be too long before we see large-scale solar farms dedicated to powering crypto mining rigs in the future.
See Related: Cost of Solar Power Per Square Foot
Advantages of Solar-Powered Crypto Mining
While the use of renewable energy is seen as the next big thing in crypto mining, it’s not without its drawbacks. For this reason, to be able to determine whether this is a profitable shift to make, it’s good to evaluate the upsides and downsides of solar-powered crypto mining.
With everyone eyeing this sustainable crypto mining route, here are its main benefits:
- The most obvious one is that it’s environmentally friendly. Solar power is a renewable energy source, and thus its use helps to reduce the miners’ carbon footprint. Now, this is a plus for the environment and future generations.
- Another benefit is that once you have installed the solar panel system, there are little to no maintenance costs. This means that the crypto mining process will be almost free.
- Solar power is also quite affordable in the long run. While the initial investment might be high, it eventually pays off. Subsequently, this helps you to avoid high electricity bills.
- It’s also worth noting that solar power is a reliable energy source. As long as there is sunlight, the panels will generate power. And, it doesn’t have to be too much sunlight.
- The high initial investment is the first challenge in setting up solar-powered crypto mining operations. For instance, solar panel systems are not cheap, and neither are the mining rigs. Therefore, you should be prepared if you want to make the shift.
- Another significant drawback is that they are not as effective in cold climates. This is because solar panels don’t work as efficiently in colder temperatures. This system works best in places that experience huge amounts of sunshine.
- Sunlight intermittency is another challenge. This means that sometimes there isn’t enough sunlight to power the mining rigs. However, this can be solved by pairing solar panels with sufficient batteries to ensure continued power availability.
Where is Solar-Powered Crypto Mining Happening?
According to a report by Cambridge University, the US has recently become the favorite destination for bitcoin miners. This means that for the first time, the country has outranked China in crypto mining.
The report suggests that around 35.4% of the world’s miners’ collective computing power (hash rate) is in the US. This is quite a significant lead over China, which only has around 1.4% of the world’s total hash rate.
The report attributes this to the high electricity costs in China and the recent crackdown on crypto mining by the Chinese government.
In addition to that, solar energy is quite affordable in the US. And this makes it a viable option for miners. It’s also worth noting that the US has a lot of sunny places, making it ideal for large solar projects.
Some of the cities in the US with the largest solar power per capita include;
- Burlington, VT
- Albuquerque, NM
- Honolulu, HI
- Las Vegas, NV
- San Jose, CA
- San Diego, CA
- Phoenix, AX
- San Antonio, TX
This shows the potential of solar-powered crypto mining in the United States. And as more people become interested in sustainable energy sources, it’s likely that solar-powered crypto mining will become even more popular.
With the right planning and execution, it can be a profitable venture.
See related: 12 Best Energy Storage Stocks to Buy
Is Solar-Powered Crypto Mining Legit
The answer is yes! Solar-powered crypto mining is a legit way to mine for cryptocurrencies. Also, if you want to go the solar way in crypto mining, it’s certainly a great option for reducing power bills.
However, it’s important to do your research before making the investment. This will help you to understand the process and know what to expect. Remember, this isn’t a cheap project, especially when you are installing a large solar system.
Therefore, ensure that you have all your facts rights!
Solar-powered crypto mining is also ideal for those who want to reduce their carbon footprint. Since it doesn’t contribute to greenhouse gases emissions, it’s an excellent way to save the environment. You’ll also be making more profits while at it.
Who Can Benefit from Solar-Powered Crypto Mining?
Solar-powered crypto mining is ideal for two types of people;
- Those who want to reduce their energy bills
- Those looking to reduce their carbon footprint
With the price of crypto coins, including Bitcoin and Ethereum plunging, the need to reduce operating costs is inevitable. This will help increase the profit margin despite the variation in prices. Since solar power is renewable and free, people who can harness this power can greatly benefit from it.
In addition, more people want to lead sustainable lives and conduct green businesses. This way, they can reduce their carbon footprint and impact the world positively. In this light, such investors can benefit a lot from solar-powered crypto mining.
If you live in a place with high electricity costs and plenty of sunlight, then this option is certainly for you.
Best Solar Energy Companies for Solar-Powered Crypto Mining
If you are not doing it yourself, here are some good companies you can partner with to enable your crypto mining with solar power.
1. Bright Solar Energy
Bright Solar Energy is a company in Dallas that enable interested investors to start investing in solar-powered cryptocurrency mining. As we all know, crypto mining is an energy-intensive process. But, with this company’s solar farms, you can easily join other sustainable crypto miners in generating cryptocurrencies sustainably.
What’s more, Bright Solar Energy can help you with the installation of solar systems for your mining farm. They have specialists who hold your hand every step of the way.
2. Forme Solar
Forme Solar is the one-stop-shop for all your solar energy needs. The company is headquartered in Orange County and provides both commercial and residential solar services.
Forme Solar has a team of NABCEP-certified solar professionals. They will help you with the installation and anything else pertaining to your solar system. They even have a monitoring team that ensures your system functions properly.
3. Tesla Solar
Tesla is one of the most popular and trusted names when it comes to solar energy. And, their solar products are among the best in the market. The solar panels are made for efficiency, durability, and flexibility for almost any type of roofing.
When you buy a Tesla Solar system, you get more than just quality solar panels. The company also provides an excellent customer service experience. And, you can be sure that they will help you with the installation and maintenance of your solar system.