A side effect of this growing need for power may be an opportunity for renewable energy developers. The emergence of “cheap, firm renewable energy”—a combination of wind and solar, and storage—could be a sustainable answer to the increasing demand.
According to Stephen Byrd, Head of North American Research for the Power & Utilities and Clean Energy industries, numerous key markets have now reached an inflection point where renewables are the cheapest form of new power generation, a dynamic he sees spreading across nearly every country that Morgan Stanley Research covers by 2020.
“The price of solar panels has fallen 50% in less than 2 years and the all-in costs for wind power in countries with favorable wind conditions can be as low as one-half to one-third that of coal- or natural gas-fired power plants.
We’re seeing a seismic shift in renewables economics.”
The result for cryptocurrencies and utilities? If firm, renewable energy could be generated at lower cost than fossil-heavy power production, the cost of mining cryptocurrencies would also fall, opening up new potential regions for cryptocurrency miners, likely stimulating more mining, and consequently more electricity consumption.