Authorities in Iran have decided to permit power generation plants using renewable sources to sell electricity to licensed cryptocurrency miners. The move comes after the government asked mining companies to suspend activities in order to avoid winter blackouts.
Crypto Miners in Iran to Mint Digital Coins Using Renewable Energy
Regulated companies mining cryptocurrency in Iran will gain access to green energy, local media reported. The Ministry of Energy in Tehran has adopted new rules allowing plants generating electricity from renewable sources to supply coin minting enterprises that operate within the law.
“Legal miners can enter into agreements with renewable power plants at negotiable terms and rates,” Mohammad Khodadadi, who heads the Tavanir department responsible for the mining industry, told the ISNA news agency. He also emphasized that the energy ministry will play a role in establishing the exact tariffs.
Tavanir, the Iran Power Generation, Distribution and Transmission Company, is the country’s state-owned utility that recently ordered authorized miners to unplug their equipment. The measure is part of efforts to prevent blackouts as energy demand increases with dropping temperatures.
The Ministry of Energy has been trying to reduce the use of liquid fuels for generation since last month, Tavanir’s spokesman Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi recently told the state-run broadcaster IRIB. Shutting down licensed crypto farms is among a range of measures aimed at avoiding electricity shortages this winter.
Iran legalized bitcoin mining in 2019 and introduced a licensing regime for entities operating in the industry. Registered crypto farms are buying electricity at higher, export rates and many Iranian miners are avoiding the mandatory registration to take advantage of subsidized household prices.
In May, then-President Hassan Rouhani announced a temporary ban on crypto mining amid growing demand for electricity and insufficient supply caused by the extraordinarily hot weather and droughts. Authorized mining enterprises were also blamed for the shortages.
The country’s crypto community criticized the restrictions after estimates indicated that legal miners consume only around 300 megawatts daily, while underground crypto farms burn 10 times more. The ban was lifted in September when demand for electricity decreased with cooler weather.
Tavanir has been cracking down on illegal mining operations throughout the year. Iranian media revealed in November that the utility had confiscated over 220,000 mining machines and shut down almost 6,000 crypto farms in different regions of the Islamic Republic.
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