Excess energy from Icelandic farms is being used for crypto mining

A farmer in Iceland has reportedly come up with a way to solve cryptocurrency’s massive contribution to the world’s energy crisis, by utlising farmers’ excess geothermal energy.

Krista Hannesdottir is based in Iceland and teaches maths as her day job, reports WIRED UK. By using this overflow of energy from farms in the country, the enterprise could help to reduce the cost of crypto mining as well as for the farmers themselves.

She said: “Farmers have a lot of storage space, so it’s easier for us to move our equipment to their location. You can also heat up storage space, which is quite clean. So generally speaking, it’s reducing rent, and reducing energy cost.

“We want to be profitable, as all companies want to be,” she added. “We want to be [environmentally] useful – if we can… We really had to explain what it was, that it’s a machine that makes money and uses energy. People are wary, obviously, because it sounds too good to be true. But in reality it’s really beneficial for us to get energy and space at a lower cost.”

Crypto mining has been repeatedly tied to its negative environmental impact, with one recent report saying that, unless more sustainable alternatives are developed, the implications for climate change could be huge.

“We should tax the miners in the cryptocurrency they’re mining,” said Jason Scott Katz, founder of Iceland’s Pirate Party. “That’s way out there but it would be interesting. Or some sort of consumption tax on the electricity because now they’re thinking of damming more places for the miners.”