Written by Lila Carney
(Reuters) – The U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) will begin more closely tracking electricity consumption by cryptocurrency mining companies operating in the United States, the agency said on Wednesday.
The EIA announced that it will begin investigating some Bitcoin miners next week as part of an emergency data collection request approved by the Office of Management and Budget on January 26th. Those surveyed will be asked to provide details of their energy usage.
Digital coin miners have come under increased scrutiny in recent years for their power-wasting activities and their impact on power grids and carbon emissions.
EIA’s study will focus on how the power demands of crypto mining are changing, identifying areas in the country where mining growth is concentrated and the power sources used to power its operations.
“We believe this is an important source of demand that merits effort to quantify,” said Glenn McGrath of the EIA.
he told Reuters. “But until we can substantiate its activity with better data, we have more questions than answers.”
The EIA, which compiles data on energy production and use across vast swathes of the United States, has received requests from various sectors to begin quantifying the energy use of crypto mining and will provide more information in the coming months. Mr McGrath said he wanted to be able to share.
The Rocky Mountain Institute, a Colorado nonprofit focused on the clean energy transition, estimated last year that Bitcoin consumes 127 terawatt hours (TWh) annually worldwide, which is That’s more than is used in the whole of Norway.
(Reporting by Laila Carney in New York and Deep Bakil and Ashita Sivaprasad in Bengaluru; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and David Evans)