Did you know that approximately 600 million (43%) Africans do not have access to electricity and may be unable to do so due to the high cost of electricity?
The only way to electrify small communities and villages across Africa is through mini-grids, typically powered by 20kW to 1MW of renewable energy.
gridless computing is an African Bitcoin mining startup that cleverly uses mining to expand power connectivity to local communities.
In contrast to Africa’s big cities and towns, small rural areas tend to miss out on electricity connections due to lower consumption demand. Community energy needs are not large enough for private power producers to invest in local connectivity.
According to the Green Africa Mining Alliance (GAMA):
“… [T]The number of mini-grids in Africa will need to increase more than 50 times in nine years, from 3,100 in 2021 to 160,000 in 2030, for a cumulative investment of $91 billion by 2030.
If the current pace of mini-grid development continues, only about 44,800 mini-grids will be installed by 2030, serving only about 80 million people in Africa. ”
Commercially oriented investors recognize the challenges of renewable mini-grids in rural areas for the following reasons:
- Inconsistent demand – typically increases between 6pm and 9pm and drops sharply during the day.
- High start-up costs – There are long and unpredictable wait times for new business customers to join the grid and pay their bills.
In addition to the above, development aid from institutions and governments has not been able to achieve “universal electricity access” due to lack of implementation capacity, lack of funding, and political interference.
This is where gridless comes into play. Gridless, which raised $2 million in seed investment led by Stillmark and Block in December 2022, will enter such areas and villages, serve as anchor tenants for power generation projects, and set up Bitcoin mining stations. reliability is guaranteed. By involving others in the community, there is a consistent demand for the electricity generated.
“Across Africa, there is a huge demand for reliable, clean and affordable energy, but mini-grid energy producers are struggling to ensure sustainability. We work with renewable local mini-grid energy generators to maximize monetization of their generation capacity as buyers of last resort, as well as acting as anchor tenants for new energy generation generation.”
– Gridless computing
Another way to look at what they’re doing is that Bitcoin mining produces:
- First resort purchaser (if no one buys)
- Buyers of last resort (if there is no other demand) for places that produce too much energy to make it economically viable.
As an anchor tenant, Bitcoin mining will be used for new energy generation that would not exist in rural locations where traditional industrial or commercial customers are unavailable.
According to Gridless, there are several business and operational challenges that make it difficult to install power plants in small communities.
- expensive electricity => Electricity costs (cost per Kw) can be up to 4 times more expensive in small villages than in large cities
- expensive investment ⇒The initial investment is high and it takes time to develop a community power grid.
- impossible returns to investorst => Lack of significant key customers makes ROI positioning of power projects nearly impossible.
- secure funding => Energy developers find it difficult to raise funds for new projects
Bitcoin mining is different from other industries. They can live anywhere. And when that energy is unfettered, uncontested, and free, it creates a perfect marriage where everyone benefits, including the community, investors, and even the Bitcoin fraternity.
Bitcoin mining is provided modularly using small cabinets or containers, and startups blueprint Anyone can use it to set up their own containers.
Gridless, which operates in Kenya, also Green Africa Mining Alliancean umbrella organization comprised of similar startups including:
- QRB of Ethiopia
- Trojan horse mining in Nigeria
- Sukuma Ventures in Kenya
According to Gridless, Bitcoin mining may be reduced or removed entirely as consumer demand increases within the community.