The temporary prohibition by the Québec’s government of energy sales to crypto miners is projected to be lifted. The report came from local news outlet Le Journal De Montreal, which got the scoop from sources who are working closely on the matter.
The publication reported that the government doesn’t want to get left behind by the booming market that cryptocurrency brings, hence the lifting of the moratorium. Similar to other countries dealing with this new technology, Québec has yet to put up a proper legal framework around digital currencies.
But they’re reportedly on their drawing board drafting regulations around the matter. Pierre Moreau, minister of energy of the government of Québec, is said to pass a decree that will regulate energy sales to crypto miners.
The minister stressed in February that managing mining farms is highly imperative to ensure it doesn’t consume all of Hydro-Québec’s energy production. It’s estimated that over 100 entities have already expressed inquiries regarding the purchasing of power from Hydro-Québec.
The energy demand of these organizations collectively exceeds 10 Terawatt-hours. Hydro-Québec controls around 60 hydroelectric stations with a surplus scope of roughly 13 Terawatt-hours. Eric Martel, Hydro-Québec’s CEO, said in January that they were planning to sell about 5 Terawatt-hours to crypto miners moving forward so the high energy demand from these organizations was completely unexpected.
As for the regulation that’s to be introduced, it will reportedly set varying allocations for crypto miners and will enable energy companies to impose “forced offloading.” This basically allows Hydro-Québec to cut off power to miners during its annual 100 to 300 hours where the power grid’s capacity reaches its limit.
Marc-Antoine Pouliot, Hydro-Québec's spokesman, said that this mandate will allow for the operation of crypto-mining in the province, while simultaneously “maximizing economic benefits and ensuring the stability of our electricity supply.”
Québec isn’t the only region that has seen a ridiculous spike in energy demand coming from crypto-mining organizations. Chelan County in Washington is also dealing with a somewhat similar issue, where a lot of digital currency miners have set up shop within its borders, resulting in a huge uptick in energy consumption.