A penny stock firm proposes a “Blockchain Valley”—at one of Australia’s worst-performing coal power plants. Plans to create an Australian “Blockchain Valley” with cheap fossil energy have been met with a stony reception from blockchain insiders.

Abraham Cambridge, founder and CEO of The Sun Exchange, a blockchain-based marketplace forsolarPV equipment, said a plan by Australian tech firm IOT Group to restart a coal-fired plant for blockchain company energy supplies is not sustainable.  “Blockchain, being one of today’s most forward-thinking industries, should not be looking backwards at coal to meet energy needs,” Cambridge said. “Instead, we should focus on deploying more clean energy capacity.” Using green energy for blockchain business development was more sustainable and also made more economic sense, he said.

“A well-placed solar energy plant now produces electricity at lower cost than fossil fuels,” he claimed.  Earlier this month, IOT Group announced a partnership with Hunter Energy, an independent power producer in Hunter Valley, New South Wales. The two companies said they planned to restart Redbank Power Station, a 151-megawatt coal plant, with the aim of feeding some of the energy directly into power-hungry blockchain applications.  Bypassing the utility grid would help cut the price of electricity from an average residential rate of AUD$0.28 (USD $0.21) per kilowatt-hour to just AUD $0.08 (USD $0.06) per kilowatt-hour in daytime and AUD $0.05 (USD $0.04) at night, IOT Group said.  This, in turn, might help Australia attract blockchain companies that have been wary of locating in the country because of its high electricity costs.

“Power at wholesale cost would make blockchain-related operations attractive in Australia,” said IOT Group in a press note. The question is whether those operations will still be attractive if the power comes from fossil-fuel sources.

Until recently, mining for Bitcoin, the biggest blockchain application in the world, has centered on China precisely because its massive coal-fired generation capacity afforded low energy costs. But blockchain’s energy use, and accompanying carbon footprint, is coming under increasing scrutiny. Read more from greentechmedia.com…

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