Daniel Batten is an author, analyst, environmental campaigner and investor in ClimateTech. In this interview, we discuss the challenges of convincing people about climate change, the importance of trust in government, and the potential positive impact of Bitcoin mining on the environment. We also talk about Daniel’s focus on accelerating Bitcoin mining’s use in reducing global landfill methane emissions.
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Bitcoin mining requires powerful computer hardware and consumes a considerable amount of electricity. In some locations, this energy is primarily sourced from fossil fuels. Critics claim that this leads to excessive carbon emissions and contributes to climate change. This is obviously a simplistic and false narrative; the true situation may at first seem counterintuitive, but Bitcoin is actually a powerful tool in the fight against climate change.
Bitcoin mining incentivizes the use of renewable energy sources. Miners often seek areas with abundant cheap electricity, which lends itself to seeking out renewable sources of energy. This results in mining subsidising the build-out of renewable energy sources, which in turn facilitates the development of reliable and sustainable energy grids.
But, perhaps the most exciting application of Bitcoin mining is in the use of waste methane. Around 30% of the rise in global temperatures is estimated to be due to methane emissions, and methane has 80 times more warming power than carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Further, 11% of global methane emissions come from landfill sites. The World Bank estimates that landfill emissions will grow 70% by 2050.
As we heard in our podcast last year with Vespene Energy’s Adam Wright, waste methane is an amazing energy source for Bitcoin mining. The waste output is carbon dioxide, which is 80 times less potent than the methane input. Daniel Batten is seeking to accelerate the build-out of such technology. The aim is to generate 32 megawatts of power from landfills, offsetting the equivalent of 4 million tonnes of carbon dioxide. That’s 10% of Bitcoin’s carbon footprint!
In this podcast, Daniel explains the opportunities and challenges behind scaling up Bitcoin mining’s carbon-offsetting potential. The fund he co-founded, CH4 Capital, has a mission to offset 2% of global greenhouse emissions with a $500 million investment. The exciting thing for Bitcoiners is that using methane emissions from landfills is obviously just one of a number of sustainable applications. It’s just a matter of time before Greenpeace gets orange-pilled!