New York Governor Kathy Hochul has signed a bill that requires bitcoin mining operations in the state to use 100% renewable energy in order to expand or renew their permits, and prevents bitcoin mining operations from purchasing energy produced from carbon-based power sources. The law, which takes effect for the next two years, is the first of its kind in the United States and represents a major step towards transitioning to more sustainable energy sources.
Data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration shows that in 2021, renewable sources and nuclear power together supplied 54% of New York’s total in-state generation from utility-scale and small-scale facilities. New York was also the third-largest producer of hydroelectricity in the nation, accounting for 11% of U.S. net generation, after Washington and Oregon. The state has a goal of requiring 100% carbon-free electricity from both renewable sources and nuclear energy by 2040.
The State of New York, in an effort to address the effects of climate change, implemented the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, which requires net zero emissions in all sectors of the economy by 2050.
Bitcoin mining operations, which use proof-of-work authentication methods to validate blockchain transactions, are a growing industry in the state. The continued expansion of these operations is expected to significantly increase energy usage in New York and if they use carbon-based power sources may impact compliance with the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act. The state is taking steps to ensure that the Bitcoin mining industry is not only aligned with New York’s sustainability goals, but also leading the states transition of 100% sustainable energy_