The state-owned electricity provider in the Canadian province of British Columbia is set to halt all new electricity delivery requests from crypto miners for 18 months.

The British Columbia government made the announcement in a statement on December 21, noting that the halt will allow the government and BC Hydro to develop a permanent framework that can better balance the needs of crypto miners, residents, and businesses in the region.

Josie Osborne, Minister for Energy, Mines and Low Carbon Innovation, said the move was taken to conserve the clean energy it provides to its residents and businesses that create jobs and are more environmentally friendly:

“Cryptocurrency mining consumes huge amounts of electricity to power and cool banks of high-powered computers 24/7, while creating very few jobs in the local economy.”
Currently, BC Hydro provides service for seven crypto mining operations. Six others are still in the advanced stages of connecting to the system, totaling 273 megawatts – and are not expected to be affected.

However, new cryptocurrency mining projects will not be able to start the process of connecting to BC Hydro, and projects will also be stopped in the early stages of the connection process, she said, adding that there are 21 cryptocurrency mining projects currently requesting a total of 1,403 megawatts of electricity.

The ministry indicated that this is equivalent to the energy required to operate approximately 570,000 homes or 2.1 million electric cars annually in the governorate.

Related: BTC Energy Use Jumps 41% in 12 Months, Raising Regulatory Risk

The BC Hydro & Power released a report in December 2022 titled “The Crypto Mystery,” in which it warned that an “unprecedented level” of demand for cryptocurrency mining operations could strain available power supplies and lead to higher electricity rates for the population. From BC I noticed:

“The energy available to BC Hydro could be challenged by cryptocurrency mining operations, which could mean less energy for greener tasks such as electricity or hydrogen production, and higher electricity rates for British Columbians.”
Statista reported that in early 2022, Bitcoin’s annual electricity consumption reached a record high, estimated to be higher than Finland’s total energy consumption, at about 204.5 TWh per year.

New York recently imposed a ban on proof-of-work (PoW) mining, becoming the first US state to do so, and ban any new mining operations that are not based on 100% renewable energy.