Researchers from the Centre for Alternative Finance (CCAF) at Cambridge University have refined the Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index (CBECI). This updated version provides a more detailed insight into the energy consumption of Bitcoin mining worldwide.
The revised data suggests that Bitcoin miners worldwide consume an estimated 89.0 terawatt-hours (TWh), a notable decrease from the earlier model’s estimation of 104 TWh.
To put this in perspective, the global energy consumption of the Bitcoin network is now comparable to the energy used by tumble dryers in the US alone, contradicting previous assertions that it equated to the energy usage of all tumble dryers globally.
Too many old miners included in the previous estimate
Cambridge University released an extensive report on August 31 titled “Bitcoin electricity consumption: an improved assessment.” In this document, they acknowledged errors in their initial estimates. The report explained:
“Our earlier CBECI methodology was largely based on the premise that all profitable hardware models introduced in the past 5 years were uniformly contributing to the overall network hashrate. This led to our model erroneously assuming a greater prevalence of older devices relative to the newer ones.”
Upon realizing that older mining equipment was being phased out more quickly than they had initially thought, the team made notable downward revisions to Bitcoin’s energy consumption for the years 2021 and 2022.
The update has gained significant attention within the Bitcoin community on platform X. Daniel Batten, a prominent figure in the analysis of Bitcoin mining’s energy consumption, emphasized that the once-popular claim, “Bitcoin uses as much energy as Sweden,” has now been debunked.
Furthermore, Batten critiqued the model’s greenhouse gas emissions estimates. He asserted, “The model’s data on emissions remains inflated. They overestimate emissions by a whopping 67.6%, attributing this to both an overestimation and the use of outdated emission intensity calculations, which haven’t been refreshed since January 2022.”