The rising energy demand of proof-of-work cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC) has been a hotly debated topic. But the 3rd Global Cryptoasset Benchmarking Study by the University of Cambridge shows that 76% of cryptocurrency miners use electricity from renewable energy sources as part of their energy mix.
The study found that over 39% of the total energy consumed by PoW cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ether (ETH), Bitcoin Cash (BCH) and others comes from renewable energy sources.
This is in contrast to a previous such study by the university, which found that only 28% of the total energy consumed for cryptocurrency mining came from renewable resources. In 2018, 60% of the miners used renewable energy sources as part of their energy mix.
According to the latest study, hydroelectric power is the most common source of energy for miners. Almost 62% of miners are reported to be using hydroelectricity. Coal and natural gas sources take the second and third spots at 38% and 36%, respectively.
Wind, oil and solar energy are the three other common energy sources for cryptocurrency miners.
The report further divides miner energy consumption by region, noting that miners from Asia-Pacific, Europe, Latin America and North America use an almost equal percentage of hydroelectric power as compared to electricity from other sources such as coal, natural gas, wind and oil.
Energy from coal is most common in the APAC region, contributing almost an equal amount of electricity to miners as hydroelectric sources. No miners from Latin America use coal-fired electricity to mine cryptos.
The report also notes that APAC miners contribute almost 77% of the Bitcoin hash power but use the lowest amounts of renewable energy sources. And while North America adds only 8%of the total hash power, 63% of the energy consumed in mining Bitcoin came from renewable sources. Europe is only second to North America with almost 30% of its cryptocurrency mining powered using renewable energy. The continent contributes nearly 10% of the worldwide Bitcoin hash power.