British Columbia will ban electricity connections for an 18-month period.
According to a press release issued by the provincial government on December 21, British Columbia, Canada, will deny electricity to new crypto mining firms.
BC Hydro, a government-owned company and the province’s sole electricity provider, will be responsible for denying those applicants service.
Josie Osborne, the energy minister, criticised mining, saying:
“Cryptocurrency mining consumes massive amounts of electricity to run and cool banks of high-powered computers 24/7/365, while creating very few jobs in the local economy.”
Osborne went on to say that the decision would save electricity for other purposes. Specifically, the policy will assist in delivering energy to individuals who use electric vehicles and heat pumps, as well as businesses that create economic opportunities or are on a green mission.
The policy will be in effect for the next 18 months on a trial basis. It will have an impact on crypto mining companies that have not yet applied for an electrical connection as well as those that are in the early stages of the process. The policy will have no effect on existing crypto mining operations.
According to today’s press release, there are currently 21 cryptocurrency mining projects requesting 1,403 megawatt hours that will be impacted by the new policy. The province described the figure as “unprecedented,” comparing it to the amount of energy consumed by 570,000 households or 2.1 million electric vehicles in a single year.
The seven cryptocurrency mining companies that are already in operation in British Columbia use significantly less energy — only 273 megawatt hours.
Other Canadian provinces have taken similar steps. Since 2018, Quebec, Canada’s francophone province, has intermittently imposed and lifted power restrictions on cryptocurrency mining. On December 8, 2022, Quebec asked regulators to redistribute power away from crypto companies once more. Quebec’s policy, like that of British Columbia, is limited to new applicants.
Manitoba, located in central Canada, also announced an 18-month moratorium on new crypto mining energy connection applications in November of this year.