Solving the Energy Trilemma with Bitcoin: Unlocking Wasted Economic Potential

• Ritabrata Santra, an engineer focused on energy tech, shares his experience of buying his first Bitcoin in 2016.
• He discusses the need to balance energy reliability, affordability and sustainability; otherwise known as the energy trilemma.
• He believes that Bitcoin mining could be a solution to solving the energy trilemma by capturing wasted economic potential of excess energy resources.

My Experience with Bitcoin

I bought my first bitcoin in 2016 when I was a college sophomore living in the U.S. After reading an article about Bitcoin, I decided to purchase one off of Coinbase for $1,500 instead of mining and cold storing it (HODL’ing). Unfortunately two months later, I had to sell it to buy a ticket to Germany for an internship and six months later one bitcoin was worth around $16,000!

The Energy Trilemma

As someone who grew up in India and saw firsthand how lack of access to electricity impacted health, knowledge and opportunity; it’s clear that reliable access is something many take for granted in developed economies. We flare enough gas every year that could power entire sub-saharan Africa but lack the necessary technology to profitably transport the energy where it is most needed. This challenge has been coined ‘the energy trilemma’: balancing energy reliability, affordability and sustainability while eradicating global poverty and meeting additional demand from emerging economies while decarbonizing our world.

Bitcoin Mining as a Solution?

Bitcoin mining presents itself as a possible solution as it can capture wasted economic potential from excess energy resources through innovative monetization strategies; accelerating expensive but innovative renewable development projects along the way. It has been suggested that Bitcoin mining sits at the center of solving the energy trilemma due its ability to utilize stranded or excess resources with positive economic benefits.

Trend One: When Harry Met (Stranded) Sally

Innovative monetization of stranded or excess energy resources will create positive economic opportunities which will drive growth within bitcoin mining operations. Every producer must find ways to deal with their excess supply despite carbon intensity; this is where cryptocurrency comes into play as it provides an additional source of revenue while allowing companies to reduce emissions associated with their operations through reduced flaring or selling electricity at lower prices than traditional markets would allow them too.


It’s clear that there needs to be an immediate shift towards sustainable practices within our current system if we are going meet our climate goals – cryptocurrency may just be one avenue towards achieving these targets by encouraging innovation within green-energy technologies while providing an alternate source of revenue for producers dealing with stranded assets or excessive supplies not covered under traditional markets