Iceland cuts power to new Bitcoin miners

Landsvirkjun, a national Icelandic electrical company, has reduced the power it provides to certain industries, including Bitcoin miners and aluminium smelters.

Representatives from the islands electricity utility said that they had been forced to cut energy allocations to southwestern Bitcoin miner and other industrial facilities because of a number of issues, including a problem at a station, low hydro reserve levels and accessing energy from outside suppliers.

Because of its abundant geothermal energy, mining operations have been attracted to the country for many years. This energy is used to generate a plentiful and cheap supply of renewable energy. According to Landsvirkjun, all new requests for electricity from mine operations will be denied starting Dec. 7, for an unknown time.

Canadas Hive Blockchain Technologies and Genesis Mining are the main Bitcoin mining companies to have opened Icelandic facilities.

For nearly a decade, miners have tried to realize the promise of environmentally-friendly Bitcoin mining in Iceland. Cloud Hashing brought 100 miners to Iceland in 2013. HydroMiner GmbH, an Austrian company that mines coal in Iceland, raised $2.8 million during its initial coin offering (ICO).

Only 1% of electricity in the country is generated from nonrenewable sources.

Related: UNs COP26 Climate Change Goals include Emerging Tech and Carbon Taxes

Distribution failure has impacted the countrys aluminum smelting sector hardest. Aluminum prices rose 1.1% Dec. 7, reflecting the supply bottleneck caused by the recent surge in demand as well as the current power supply crunch.

In 2021, green blockchain initiatives are expected to be in vogue globally. The COP26 conference in Glasgow, Scotland featured thought leaders who addressed the issue of energy-intensive Bitcoin mining. The GloCha United Citizens Organization was launched at the conference for climate empowerment. It will use blockchain technology to help achieve climate change goals.