Iran Permits Renewable Power Plants to Supply Electricity to Crypto Miners

Iranian authorities have decided to allow power generation plants to sell electricity generated via renewable resources to licensed crypto miners in the country. This move comes after mining companies had been told by the government to suspend their activities for avoiding blackouts in the winter season. According to local media companies, companies that are regulated for mining in Iran will now have access to green energy. Tehran’s Ministry of Energy has decided to adopt new rules that permit power generation plants to supply the electricity they generate from renewable resources to these crypto mining companies. 

The head of the Tavanir department, which has the responsibility of the mining industry, Mohammad Khodadadi said that legal miners are now permitted to enter into agreements with renewable power plants and negotiate their own rates and terms. He also said that the energy ministry will also be involved in the process of setting the exact tariffs that would be applicable. The Power Generation, Distribution, and Transmission Company in Iran, Tavanir is the state-owned utility of the country, which had recently ordered crypto miners to unplug all their equipment. This measure was implemented as a move to prevent blackouts in the country because dropping temperatures lead to increased energy demands.

Mostafa Rajabi Mashhadi, a spokesman for Tavanir, recently said that since the last month, the Ministry of Energy had been trying to bring down the use of liquid fuels for generating electricity. A range of measures had been implemented for preventing electricity shortages in the winter and putting a stop to licensed crypto mining activities was one of them. In 2019, Iran had decided to legalize bitcoin mining and a licensing regime had also been introduced for entities that were operating in the industry. All crypto farms that are registered have to buy electricity at higher, export rates, due to which a number of miners in Iran don’t complete mandatory registration in order to benefit from the subsidized household prices.

Hassan Rouhani, the president of Iran back in May, had imposed a temporary ban on crypto mining due to increasing demand for electricity and not enough supply due to the drought and extraordinary hot weather. Authorities mining entities had also been blamed for the electricity shortages. The crypto community in Iran had criticized the restrictions after estimates showed that only 300 megawatts were consumed by legal miners on a daily basis, whereas 10 times more electricity is used by underground crypto farms. 

In September, the ban had been lifted when cooler weather resulted in a decrease in demand for electricity. Throughout the year, Tavanir has been clamping down on all illegal crypto mining operations. In November, Iranian media had disclosed that more than 220,000 mining machines had been confiscated and around 6,000 crypto mining farms had been shut down in the different areas of the Islamic Republic. Despite that, illegal crypto mining is still happening in the country. Regardless, using renewable power plants for generating electricity used by crypto miners would certainly be a good move.