The energy sector is looking at various ways to achieve the energy transition and incorporate renewable energy into the energy mix. Andrew Webber, the CEO of Digital Power Optimization, believes that Bitcoin mining can be helpful in the energy transition. The company is New York-based and it helps energy companies establish sustainable crypto-mining operations.
In an interview with Forkast’s Timmy Shen, Webber stated that Bitcoin mining can be an asset to the energy sector in terms of utilizing renewable energy and making it more profitable. This would help to encourage people to build more renewable energy sites.
Data Centers and Energy Sites
According to Webber, Digital Power Optimization utilizes flexible data centers for Bitcoin mining and flexible AI computing to deploy assets and operations at energy sites where power is generated from wind, hydropower, or solar power. The company utilizes excess energy that would otherwise have been undervalued by the market or stranded in a remote location where there is not enough transmission to get that power to where it is needed. By deploying flexible data centers, the energy sites can govern how much power they are using versus how much they are selling to the grid, thereby creating a profitable off-take scenario for them.
New Energy Sector Strategy
Webber believes that the idea of Bitcoin mining flexible data centers is going to be picked up and utilized by the energy sector as a vertically integrated strategy. They could use the same approach they use when deploying battery deployments at their sites or green hydrogen production. Using excess energy to electrolyze water produces hydrogen as a new fossil-free fuel.
The CEO explained that the profitability of Bitcoin mining is mainly determined by the spot price, the amount of competition, and network difficulty. Those are the key drivers in deciding how flexible data centers might operate relative to grid prices. When grid prices or opportunity costs for selling power exceed what can be made by using it for data centers, the data center can be turned off, and the power can be redirected into the grid.
He said there is no magic number, and no level at which Bitcoin mining becomes unfeasible. The understanding of the relationship between flexibility, uptime, power costs, and operating profitability is key to the long-term success of Bitcoin mining. While miners struggled last year mainly due to low Bitcoin prices and high energy costs, there has been a modest uptick in profitability. However, the rising Bitcoin price has changed the cost of equipment and the entry cost to participate in the market.
Bitcoin mining can be a useful asset in the energy transition, making renewable energy more profitable and encouraging people to build more of it. Flexible data centers can be deployed at energy sites to create a profitable off-take scenario for them, capturing incremental value for their energy. While the profitability of Bitcoin mining is mainly determined by the spot price, the amount of competition, and network difficulty, the understanding of the relationship between flexibility, uptime, power costs, and operating profitability is crucial for its long-term success and sustainability. The energy sector should adopt the use of Bitcoin mining flexible data centers as a vertically integrated strategy.
Giancarlo is an economist by profession with a career spanning nearly two decades. His professional journey has seen him assume vital roles in various government and private organizations such as the Department of the Interior and Local Government (DILG), the National Economic and Development Authority (NEDA), Megaworld Corporation, and the China Banking Corporation in the Republic of the Philippines.
In addition to his civic and corporate pursuits, his forward-thinking approach has led him to manage several prominent websites in the banking and finance sector, notably the Australia-based RateChoice, where he immersed himself in the world of emerging financial technologies and where he found particular interest in Bitcoin all the way back to 2013.
Prior to his addition to Blockzeit’s dynamic team, he held an essential role as Project Manager for initiatives encompassing blockchain, stablecoin, mining, special economic zone development, and iGaming. This noteworthy chapter in his career unfolded under the auspices of InPlan Consultancy Services, Inc., the think-tank of IMPERO Consortium Management Corporation headquartered in Manila, Philippines, and Tokyo, Japan. InPlan, led by a distinguished retired Cabinet member of the Philippines, collaborates directly with IMPERO’s core management team, contributing to strategic planning and business development endeavors.