Best Projects 2021 features all the nominated entries submitted ‘Submit your Project’ category. All the entries consist of innovative projects run by existing enterprises in the form of businesses, NGOs or informal programs.
Africa Solar Crypto-Mining Farm
Published on September 27, 2021 um 09:00
Type of Enterprise
Year the ngo or company was founded
Explain your project in details:
Apart from capital costs, Africa Solar Crypto-Mining Farm (ASCMF) will produce 1 Megawatt (MW) of solar electricity to power Bitcoin mining rigs virtually free, thus saving nearly $102 to produce 1 megawatt-hour of grid power (Lazard's analysis). ASCMFs expected benefits are: forex revenue from Bitcoin, employment for 20 people from the local community besides free internet access, free mobile phone charging and ICT training, all of which are considered catalysts for sustainable development. Projected revenue is about $135/MWh x 8,760MWh per year = US$ 1,182,600 pa. Using latest generation mining hardware, revenue ranges from $70/MWh to $200/MWh depending on price, global hash rate and difficulty (in cryptography jargon). ASCMF's 1-megawatt solar project life is projected at 25 years at the cost of about 5 cents per kilowatt-hour or less (substantially less than approximately 10 cents per kilowatt-hour of Kenya's power grid). According to reliable data, solar-powered Bitcoin mining operations can be highly profitable with payback times as short as a year or two. Besides maintenance costs, Bitcoin revenue comes with minimum ongoing costs for 25 years or more for the solar farm. However, Bitcoin mining machines will need to be upgraded periodically (every 4 years). The barriers of solar power development in Africa include obtaining the power-purchase contracts, which is now generally the most difficult part of the process, largely because there are so many market participants chasing too few contracts, giving impetus to an off-grid mini solar power option. This rationale will influence the decision to mine crypto rather than sell solar power to the national grid. ASCMFs main objective is to promote the role of ICT in sustainable development by fostering international cooperation and market linkages (access to the outside world through internet), thus by extension strengthening the means of implementation for the SDGs.
Impact of your enterprise on sustainable development
Access to reliable, safe and affordable clean energy (MDG7) is one of Africas urgent and critical development tools. Africa boasts excellent sources of clean renewable energy all year round which include geothermal, hydro, solar and wind resources. Africa Solar Crypto-Mining Farm (ASCMF) project is a scalable 1 Megawatt (MW) solar Bitcoin mining operation. The solar farm can be expanded to provide more solar power virtually free to the local community. The role of ICT in sustainable development in rural Africa includes promoting free access to the outside world by rural communities through the internet and mobile telephones. This will foster international cooperation and global market linkages. ASCMF project aims at increasing earnings and reducing poverty through creating 20 local green jobs that specifically target inclusion of women living in rural areas. The jobs will include including technicians, power and electronics engineers, operators and administrators. Free ICT training to the local community will strengthen their capacity to do business through knowledge and skills transfer, while also equipping them with strong entrepreneurial skills. Free access to mobile phone charging, internet and free business bureau services will highly impact the rural community's business management. Rural Africa today enjoys an unmatched spread of mobile telephony and mobile money transfers, which adds impetus to the urgency to strengthen rural communities access to business information such as produce market prices and trade opportunities. ASCMF project will forge community and multi-stakeholder partnerships through training and skills development in social, policy and political engagements. The community engagement skills will help the local people to identify and brainstorm their needs and challenges collectively. ASCMF Resource Center's free ICT training will target the local community, schools and college groups in an endeavor to demystify digital economy, cryptography, blockchain technology and crypto currency mining concepts, thereby bridging the digital divide.
Sustainability and future plans
Renewable energy is the new axis for sustainable development in Africa due to its abundance. The ASCMF project will produce 1 megawatt-hour (MWh) of solar electricity at minimum cost, much cheaper than producing 1 MWh at $102 on the national power grid (Lazard's analysis). Bitcoin revenue will range from $70/MWh to $200/MWh. Profitability determinants are the BTC price, global HASHRATE and DIFFICULTY. High speed satellite internet suitable for remote locations will link the Bitcoin miners to the mining pools. With an annual revenue of about US$ 1,182,600 pa and a cost of about 5 cents per kilowatt-hour (KWh) the ASCMF project is expected to break even (1 KWh costs 10 cents on the industrial grid power in Kenya). From research data, a solar-powered Bitcoin mining operation is highly profitable with payback times of 1 to 2 years. After covering the capital costs, the cost for solar energy generation is almost free, making cryptocurrency mining more profitable than to export solar-generated power back to the grid. Upon payback, Bitcoin revenue comes with minimum costs for the next 25 years. However, the Bitcoin mining rigs have to be upgraded periodically (every 4 years). The retired SHA-256 Algorithm rigs can be sold to solar mining startups, or be profitably employed to mine alternative crypto coins (known as Altcoins) including Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Dogecoin (DOGE) or DigiByte (DGB). ASCMF project welcomes financing from potential partners through debt/equity financing. The project is scalable and can self-finance expansion of both its solar power and Bitcoin mining capacities. The ASCMF business model can be replicated and implemented elsewhere in Africa. In view of this, ASCMF is planning on building a freely-accessible dashboard showing real-time metrics of the projects performance, including power output and bitcoin mined, thereby becoming an innovative model that other businesses can learn from.
Your profile as an entrepreneur
I am over 50 years old development practitioner, policy researcher and analyst. My current development focus and motivation is to seek innovative ways of making development models work for rural African communities. I embrace a new mantra, "Relocate development technology to the rural areas of Africa," because I believe that there's no longer any need to locate technology exclusively in urban areas. We can bring electric power, communication and technology relatively cheaply to the village using appropriate technological innovations. That is all we need to trigger technological development and renaissance in rural Africa . Power and communication is a development duality tool for attracting skilled manpower, wealth, jobs, business to the village. I strongly believe that ASCMF project will attract development and corporate partners to help scale it up as well as to replicate the business model for other rural communities. My attributes include innovative thinking aimed at finding simple solutions to rural poverty and disease