Bitcoin consumed more energy than Sweden last year

According to Digiconomist, Bitcoin consumed more energy than Sweden last year. The source didn't mention that the network heavily relies on renewables, though.

Bitcoin bulb

In 2022, Bitcoin consumed as much as 161 TWh of electricity, exceeding the energy consumption of Sweden and contributing to around 90 Mt of CO2 emissions, Digiconomist reported on Twitter. The network handled circa 93 million transactions averaging 1,738 kWh in energy consumption and 969 kilograms in CO2 – an equivalent of a per-passenger carbon footprint of a New York to Sydney flight. The number of transactions is down from the previous year, however, energy usage has grown. Bitcoin's share of global electricity consumption rose to 0.64%.

Digiconomist also notes that Bitcoin miners contribute to electronic waste creation. On average, mining is attributed with 411 grams of electro junk per Bitcoin transaction. The source runs a Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index – as well as its Ethereum counterpart – on its website, which shows a sharp rise and then a sharp decrease in Bitcoin Energy Consumption (BEC) last year. At its peak last year, BEC was estimated at over 200 TWh, but then a sudden drop occurred, taking it down to previous levels. Still, BEC is typically higher than Czech Republic's energy consumption.

Bitcoin Energy Consumption index

To put things in the proper perspective, one must stress that nearly 40% of BEC comes from renewables, contributing to promoting green energy. According to Cambridge Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, the cryptocurrency is powered predominantly by coal and gas, but hydro, wind, nuclear, and, to a lesser extent, solar also play a significant role in the energy mix. Unfortunately, in the last two years, the network's reliance on gas grew significantly while the hydro component shrank.

Read also: Luxury Swedish rehab center now treats addiction to crypto trading

Bitcoin energy consumption breakdown by type