Since writing this, blockchain has somewhat come off the boil! While it’s still discussed for some uses in the energy industry, the biggest topic in 2023 has been Generative AI – one for a blog me thinks! Anyway, from 2018:
A number of potential benefits for the energy sector are being developed using blockchain technologies. These offer new, secure ways of managing transactions and contracts between the growing number of entities across the value chain. See other blogs for examples of innovations that could come from crypto and other technologies.
There is however a darker side to the blockchain explosion. Crypto technologies can use vast amounts of energy to sustain their transactions and to continue the chain growing via mining. You can read more about what blockchains are in this handy update on Investopedia.
One of the most promising crypto currencies, Ethereum, is estimated that Ethereum uses about the same amount of energy as the country of Iceland! This is such an issue for the founder that Ethereum is planning to cut its energy consumption by 99% in 2019.
This is one of the most interesting technological developments to watch in 2019 and reflects the growing concern about the impact of crypto currencies are having. For example it’s estimated that each Ethereum transaction uses the same amount of energy as the average US household uses in a day.
Crypto consumption is only one of many power hungry developments in the tech space. Energy efficiency has led to dramatic reductions in energy consumption in the home such (see another blog for some thoughts on these efficiency gains). However, energy use for several technological advances is significant. For example, Data Centres in the UK consume between 2 and 3 TWh per year. Our digital economy is built on the networks and data centres that facilitate our daily transactions. Large companies are now trying to deal with their environmental impact from their energy use but that’s in another blog…