A Blueprint for Bitcoin Mining and Energy in Africa

  • May 17th, 2023
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Reducing the electricity-access gap in underprivileged regions with minigrids and small-scale bitcoin data centers: An open-source blueprint for advancing power infrastructure in Africa and beyond. 

GAMA.Africa is gathering the information on how we each work on electricity and bitcoin mining in Africa, and then releasing that information for others to learn from. This will take place over time, so expect a growing body of knowledge over time that others can also help add to.

This initial document is from the learnings by Gridless on how combining small-scale bitcoin data centers and renewables-based minigrids forms the foundation of a new model to expand profitable electrification to communities in emerging markets without the need for charity, aid, gifts, or government subsidy. The main challenge is that minigrids have a low ROI and are not economically viable without subsidies due to their high CAPEX cost, low initial consumption, and long payback period.

The co-location of small-scale Bitcoin mining and renewables-based microgrids helps to address the problem of stranded renewable energy. By providing a consistent and reliable demand for electricity, Bitcoin mining helps to utilize excess renewable energy that might otherwise go to waste, thereby unlocking the potential of stranded renewable energy projects and contributing to a more sustainable energy future.

Sections in upcoming documents:

Real world examples (Nigeria, Kenya, Ethiopia, Malawi, DR Congo)

Technical blueprint (physical setup)
Assessing a site
Installation cheat sheet
Tool/equipment list
Connectivity 101
Miner management
Energy management
Repair and Maintenance

Open-Source Templates
Legal contracts with power partners
Spreadsheets for modeling out a site

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