Bitcoin mining: expert doubts the efficiency of geothermal energy in El Salvador

The use of geothermal volcanic energy for bitcoin mining will cost more than burning oil. That’s the opinion of Ricardo Navarro, winner of a prestigious award among environmentalists, writes The Telegraph.

“This kind of energy is still not cheap, otherwise we would have been exploiting it long ago. As a result of the president’s initiative, we will simply buy more oil,” said the expert.

Steam and groundwater are needed to generate geothermal energy at a time when the country lacks water resources, the expert said.

Navarro’s opinion is echoed by Marit Brommer, executive director of the International Geothermal Association.

Bitcoin mining using volcanoes has been around for a while.

“It’s just geothermal energy,” said Alejandro de la Torre, a bitcoin miner who recently relocated from China to Texas. “Iceland has been doing it since the very beginning of bitcoin mining,” says the author.

El Salvador is known as the “Land of the Volcanoes,” and according to government data, geothermal energy accounts for roughly a fourth of the country’s domestic energy production.

El Salvador’s move is also good news for the bigger discussion about bitcoin’s carbon footprint.

It will take at least 2 to 3 years for El Salvador to generate electricity

“What he (President Nayib Bukele) promised in the next six months looks unfeasible. Resources need to be allocated, modeling needs to be done, wells need to be drilled. It will take at least two to three years, if not more, to generate electricity,” she explained.

In October, there was a report on El Salvador‘s testing of the first bitcoin mining based on geothermal volcanic energy.

In November, the government announced a $1 billion bitcoin bond offering

Half of the funds raised will be used for this project. The other part will be used to build Bitcoin City. A geothermal power plant will be built near a volcano in the region. Its power will also be used for bitcoin mining. 

Recall that Bukele proposed to organize mining on clean geothermal energy of volcanoes in the country on June 10 – the day after the parliament passed a bill recognizing bitcoin as an official means of payment.

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Arsen Islamov
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