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A Kenyan energy supplier is luring bitcoin miners with geothermal

03-Jun-2022 By: Shikha Jha
A Kenyan energy supp

KenGen, a Kenyan energy provider, has issued an invitation

to Bitcoin miners to relocate to the area and purchase the company's extra renewable energy capacity for bitcoin mining.

KenGen claims that renewable energy accounts for 86 percent of its energy, the majority of which is geothermal heat from hotspots of ground source heat in the Great Rift Valley. KenGen has space at its new industrial park in Olkaria, near its flagship geothermal power station, that might be leased to Bitcoin miners, according to local a news outlet.
KenGen's Acting Director of Geothermal Development, Peketsa Mwangi, statedthat his company was delighted to welcome the miners to Kenya.


Despite his zeal, no stories of miners wishing to relocate to Kenya have surfaced.
The Eastern African nation has no known Bitcoin mining activities, according to Cambridge's Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, despite the fact that it looks to be suited for miners due to the region's predicted potential geothermal energy capacity of 10,000 MegaWatt.


According to Kenyan financial news site Capital FM, KenGen is currently operating at a maximum electricity production of 863 MW following the installation of a new geothermal power plant in April.
KenGen may be able to fulfill multiple aims at once by recruiting miners to the country. It has the potential to improve miners' environmental integrity, which has come under criticism around the world. According to Cambridge's Bitcoin Electricity Consumption Index, mining consumes 119.5 TerraWatt hours every year, which is more than the entire country of the Netherlands. 


It may also increase demand for more development of KenGen's energy grid in order to increase total supply and reduce costs. Kenya has the world's 12th most expensive power, according to Statista, with a one-kilowatt hour (KWh) costing roughly $0.22.
The low electrification rate in the country may be to blame for the country's high electricity expenses. Only over 70% of the population will have access to the centralized grid by 2020, according to the World Bank. According to energy grid tracker Energypedia, Kenya's high cost of joining the grid is a "major obstacle" to its spread.


Increased revenue from miner fees and maybe taxes could help the Kenyan government. The Kazakhstan government, for example, is forecast to receive up to $1.5 billion in revenue from miners over the next five years (despite only earning $1.5 million in Q1 2022).
Kenya has a very high rate of crypto adoption due to its large number of peer-to-peer transactions.
The Central Bank of Kenya (CBK) has been investigating the idea of a central bank digital currency since last year. CBK mentioned lower fees and faster transfer rates as benefits of utilizing a CBDC in February.


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