Guizhou province became the country’s first to use its freed-up power capacity to pursue a climate-conscious agenda, following Beijing’s onslaught on the energy-sapping Bitcoin (BTC) mining. In 2021, the hydroelectric-rich southern province plans to construct a minimum of 4,500 electric vehicle charge stations. In 2022, the number will increase to 5,000, and in the following year, to 5,500. According to the South China Morning Post, Beijing’s push on miners of Bitcoin has freed up more than 50 terawatt-hours of electricity, enough to power an industrialized city of 1 million people for 33 years or to charge 10 million Tesla Model 3s every year.
On a worldwide scale, China has been a pioneer in the fight against crypto mining, compelling pools that previously profited from cheap, abundant power to shut down and transfer overseas. Guizhou’s provincial government is now using this surplus to encourage the region’s 38 million citizens to change their lifestyles in line with Beijing’s decarbonization goals. Guizhou’s EV plan, according to Cao Hua, an associate at Unity Asset Management, which is a private equity firm, is “a double dose of excellent news for China’s economy”:
Guizhou, which has one of the smallest per-capita income levels in the country, plans to add 38,000 EV charging facilities by 2023, with a minimum of one from every town and 20% of parking spaces at shopping centers set aside for EV charging. Residents and manufacturers in the area have informed South China Morning Post of their hope that the provincial government will provide consumer discounts and incentives to encourage adoption.
One local EV battery provider claimed the industry is already following the new agenda upstream in the production line. “We’re thinking about expanding into those sectors because they might offer additional incentives to entice companies to make items that adhere to their environmental regulations,” he said.
China’s number of private and public owned electric vehicle charging stations has allegedly expanded by over 47 percent in the last year. Despite this, the vast bulk of infrastructure is concentrated in the wealthiest cities and regions. According to the SCMP report, the swing in capacity utilization in erstwhile Bitcoin mining areas such as Xinjiang, Qinghai, Inner Mongolia, Yunnan, and Sichuan might be a “game-changer” for China’s push to promote electric vehicles.
Expanding charging points to underdeveloped and rural areas is a huge issue. Still, it is necessary to alleviate prospective EV users’ “range anxiety” — that is, the question of how far they can be able to travel without running out of battery life. As a result, the shift to EVs necessitates a concerted effort from the provincial governments, battery manufacturers and carmakers to scale up investment and manufacturing levels. Beijing is currently aiming for three out of every five cars in the nation to be fueled by non-fossil propellants by the year 2030, compared to the United States’ goal of 50 percent.