musk dorsey argue renewable energy

Renewable energy experts have cast doubt on research overseen by Twitter chief executive Jack Dorsey and praised by Elon Musk claiming that Bitcoin can help stop global warming.

In a white paper published on Wednesday, Mr Dorsey’s payments company Square and cryptocurrency investor Ark Invest argued that Bitcoin miners are the “key” to increasing the world’s renewable energy capacity by making solar and wind power more lucrative.

Mr Dorsey retweeted the paper with the comment “Bitcoin incentivises renewable energy”, to which Mr Musk replied: “True.” Ark’s chief executive Cathie Wood said the research “debunk[s] the myth that Bitcoin mining is damaging the environment”.

But academics and analysts specialising in renewable power questioned those claims, warning that they relied on dubious assumptions or cautioning that many other technologies could achieve the same goal.

Lucas Davis, a senior professor at Berkeley’s Haas School of Business who studies energy markets, told the Telegraph: “This article vastly overstates the role of Bitcoin… I have no reason to believe that Bitcoin is the best solution here, and I certainly don’t think it’s ‘key’.

“California, Europe, around the world, renewables generation is increasing dramatically. Give me a break – it’s not due to Bitcoin.”

Ravi Manghani, head of solar research at the energy consultancy Wood Mackenzie, called the paper’s arguments “exaggerated”, saying Bitcoin is a promising technology for expanding green power but is unlikely to play a major role on its own.

Bitcoin critic David Gerard called the paper a “cynical exercise in Bitcoin greenwashing” telling the BBC: “Bitcoin mining is so ghastly and egregious that the number one job of Bitcoin promoters is to make excuses for it – any excuse at all.”

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