Canada’s British Columbia Halts Crypto Mining Energy Requests For 18 Months

Governments around the world have been hostile towards Proof of Work [PoW] crypto mining because of its energy consumption. A month back, New York officially became the first US state to issue a moratorium on fossil-fuel-powered crypto mining. The state’s governor, Kathy Hochul, signed the two-year prohibition on permits for PoW mining operations.

More recently, a Canadian province did something similar, but for a different reason. The Manitoba province put forth an 18-month moratorium on new crypto mining in light of the possibility of new crypto projects overpowering the local grid. At present, there are around 37 active mining operations in the said Canadian province. Nonetheless, the said moratorium did not affect these firms.

Read More: After New York, Canadian province imposes Moratorium on New Bitcoin mining

British Columbia Jumps Onto The Bandwagon

Now, British Columbia, another Canadian province, has hit a pause on electrical connections for crypto mining. The officially released statement noted that BC Hydro will suspend energy connection requests from crypto miners for 18 months. This is being done to “preserve British Columbia’s supply of clean electricity. It will also cater to the province’s climate action and economic goals.”

The suspension highlighted is temporary for now. Alongside preserving the electricity supply, it will give the government and BC Hydro “sufficient time” to engage with industry and First Nations to develop a permanent framework for future crypto-mining operations.

It is important to note that currently, 21 projects are requesting total electricity of 1,403 megawatts that will be temporarily suspended. To put things in perspective, that is equal to the energy needed to power approximately 570,000 homes, or 2.1 million electric vehicles, per year in British Columbia.

At the moment, BC Hydro provides service to seven crypto-mining operations, with six more in advanced stages of connection to the system, totaling 273 megawatts.

Minister Weighs In On Suspension

Commenting on the latest suspension, Josie Osborne, Minister of Energy, Mines, and Low Carbon Innovation said,

“Cryptocurrency mining consumes massive amounts of electricity to run and cool banks of high-powered computers 24/7/365, while creating very few jobs in the local economy.”

He added,

“We are suspending electricity connection requests from cryptocurrency mining operators to preserve our electricity supply for people who are switching to electric vehicles and heat pumps, and for businesses and industries that are undertaking electrification projects that reduce carbon emissions and generate jobs and economic opportunities.”

So now, new mining projects have been asked not to begin the process of connection with BC Hydro. Alongside, projects at the early stages of the connection process are set to be halted. However, mining projects that are running, and that are well advanced in BC Hydro’s connection process, will not be affected.