Sichuan measures the impact of the Bitcoin mining ban on electricity consumption from hydropower

Government officials from Sichuan Energy Regulators are holding a seminar next week to assess the impact of the cessation of local Bitcoin mining activities on the hydropower surplus this year.

The Sichuan Energy Regulatory Agency under China’s National Energy Agency sent a subpoena to representatives of various state-owned energy companies such as the State Grid’s Sichuan Bureau, the Sichuan Energy Industry Investment Group and the Energy Trading Center on May 25.

Based on the seminar request seen and verified by The Block, the meeting is scheduled to take place on June 2nd in Chengdu, capital of Sichuan Province, at the request of the National Energy Agency.

The request for the meeting came just four days after the Chinese State Council reiterated a comment about combating bitcoin mining and trading activity. Unlike a direct shutdown proposal from the Inner Mongolia government, however, the Sichuan government is trying to understand the implications before making a decision.

Based on the meeting’s agenda set out in the note, representatives from major energy sectors in Sichuan will be asked to outline the size of the crypto mining activities that fall under their jurisdiction and the impact of their assessment on the government’s energy consumption plan for that year if these mining activities are all stopped.

Sichuan is known for being a major hub for bitcoin mining due to its abundant summer water resources which are cheap and also generate excessive hydropower every year. One of the local government’s long-term priorities is to attract enough businesses to consume such excess energy that would otherwise be wasted.

According to the Chinese government, the total annual waste of hydropower in Sichuan between 2012 and 2016 was 7.6 billion kilowatt hours (kWh), 2.6 billion kWh, 9.7 billion kWh, 10.2 billion kWh and 14.2 billion kWh.

As The Block previously reported, the Sichuan government has established what are known as “Industrial Hydro Power Consumption Demonstration Zones,” where energy-intensive industries, including bitcoin mining operations, are welcome to consume excess energy in the summer in a compliant manner.

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