An ecologist in El Salvador has doubts about the country’s plan to mine Bitcoin using geothermal energy from volcanoes.
Mining Bitcoin Using Volcanoes
Ecologist, Ricardo Navvaro, has questioned the country’s decision to mine Bitcoin using geothermal energy from volcanoes. He claims that geothermal energy is more expensive than oil.
“Geothermal energy still costs more than oil, otherwise we would be using more of it. What will eventually happen is that we will just buy more oil.” Said Ricardo Navarro, head of the El Salvadoran Center of Appropriate Technology.
Navarro also questioned President Bukele’s decision to develop a city near volcanoes.
“Talking about building a city next to a volcano is like thinking you’re rich because you live next to a bank.”
He added that geothermal energy needs steam and groundwater. Or water trapped underground in the ground or under rocks. But that is precisely what is a problem for El Salvador. The ecologist says:
“We are already having problems with too little water in El Salvador.”
The ecologist’s doubts were encouraged by Marit Brommer, executive director of the International Geothermal Association. She, too, questioned the promises of the country’s controversial president.
“El Salvador is known for its geothermal potential. But if the president promises to achieve something in the next six months, it’s unachievable
She added that it would probably take at least two or three years, and probably longer, before you could generate electricity.
The announcement of President Bukele
President Bukele first announced plans to use volcanoes for Bitcoin mining in June.
At the time, he commissioned the state-owned company ‘La Geo’ to provide Bitcoin mining facilities with very cheap, 100% clean, 100% renewable, zero-emission energy from the volcanoes. La Geo is a state-owned electricity company.
That process started in October, Bukele himself announced via Twitter. A month later, Bukele announced plans to launch a “Bitcoin City”. This city is powered by volcanoes, the development of which is said to be funded by Bitcoin-backed bonds.
President Bukele has been busy buying the Bitcoin dip with public money. There is still no clarity on who holds the country’s private keys.