Last Updated: 8 November 2022
Quebec is struggling with energy problems. Therefore, they are now calling for a (temporary) halt to bitcoin mining in the Canadian province.
Mining in Canada
The region’s energy supplier wants to survive the winter without having to worry about the mining industry. With an electricity shortage and temperatures that can drop significantly in Canada, households could be in trouble for heating their homes.
This is why utility Hydro Quebec submitted a report to the energy council on November 1. The energy distributor is calling on the government to stand by them to limit energy supplies to cryptominers.
Hydro Quebec is concerned about the “reliability and security” of power distribution for Quebec residents. In doing so, they are mainly looking at the demand coming from cryptominers, greenhouse farming and green hydrogen generation.
Pierre Fitzgibbon, a Canadian politician and legislator, is behind the move and put the same message on Twitter at Hydro Quebec’s request.
Considérant la forte demande d’énergie, le gouvernement a demandé par décret à la Régie de l'énergie d'envisager de retirer les 270 MW réservés pour des projets de chaînes de blocs.
Nous demeurons ouverts aux projets qui auront des retombées plus importantes.@hydroquebec
— Pierre Fitzgibbon (@MinFitzgibbon) November 3, 2022
He said the government should authorise the energy board to free Hydro Quebec “from obligations to supply energy to mining farms.”
Imagine the impact for a moment: a mining company that has invested millions of dollars in rigs is suddenly locked out of their most necessary commodity: electricity.
Reportedly, 270 MW of electricity is currently going from Hydro Quebec to bitcoin miners. According to the report, energy use in this sector is expected to continue to increase. They are guessing a consumption of 0.7 TWh over the next 10 years.
“The additional energy demand in winter is high, and this is even without the load reserved for cryptocurrency use for blockchains,” the report says. Nearly 3 terawatt hours of energy are expected to be consumed in winter from 2025 and even more than 3 TWh in 2027.”
Bitcoin miners, by the way, have already been paying extra taxes to the provincial government since March 2021.
The trend is thus set. In Kosovo and Iran, among others, miners are the child of energy bills. In both regions, bitcoin mining is (temporarily) banned during months of peak electricity use.