SAN SALVADOR, Oct 15 (Reuters) – El Salvador’s unfolding experiment as a first-adopter of the crytocurrency bitcoin may very well be more and more powered by new streams of renewable vitality, the chief of the nation’s hydroelectric fee instructed reporters on Friday.
Energy-intensive cryptocurrency “mining” is completed by computer systems, and has come below criticism from environmentalists as an enormous supply of demand for largely fossil gasoline derived electrical energy.
Last month, El Salvador grew to become the primary nation to undertake bitcoin as authorized tender alongside the U.S. greenback, which for years had served because the nation’s sole official forex.
Daniel Alvarez, president of the state-run Lempa River Hydroelectric Executive Commission (CEL), mentioned El Salvador has the potential to generate electrical energy by way of hydroelectric, photo voltaic, wind and tidal energy initiatives.
“The possibilities are endless here, it’s just about willpower and that we have the means and the ability to start these projects,” Alvarez mentioned.
The Salvadoran authorities in September started harnessing geothermal vitality for bitcoin mining from a plant on the base of the Tecapa volcano, 106 kilometers (66 miles) east of the capital, that’s owned by an organization which is a part of CEL.
The plant generates about 102 megawatts, and the federal government plans so as to add one other 5 megawatts subsequent 12 months. At current, 1.5 megawatts are being allotted for bitcoin.
Alongside the plant, officers have arrange a room inside a delivery container to accommodate 300 computer systems that course of cryptocurrency transactions.
The Tecapa plant together with one other geothermal plant in northwestern El Salvador provide between 23% and 24% of the nationwide energy grid, in line with authorities.
Editing by Sandra Maler