How Environmentally Green is Solana Blockchain?

A new report has been published by Solana that compares how much energy Solana uses when compared to other blockchians. It is interesting to note, it found that “
a transaction on Solana takes less energy than two Google searches, and 24 times less energy than charging your phone.” Let dig into this further!

Read the full report here

The report was created by Robert Murphy from Othersphere.io, who was contracted to do this back in May 2021. He has some solid credentials, such as formerly being Head of Strategy and Business Development Aclima, Lead Economist for Emerging Markets at Chevron, International Business Development at Enbridge, Energy Specialist at the World Bank and a consultant the Cleantech Group and at IHS.

As a proof of stake network, the security of the network is not dependent on energy usage. On Solana, there is no need for energy-intensive mining, meaning the network is extremely environmentally efficient.

Solana’s Energy Use Report: November 2021

So How Does it Compare to Other Energy Consuming Technologies?

A Solana transaction uses 1,837 Joules or 0.00051 kWh.

So how did they compare Solana against Bitcoin and Ethereum?

Gotta read the footnotes but it is all there. The data was collected by the Digiconomist, “the Digiconomist is a platform that is dedicated to exposing the unintended consequences of digital trends, typically from an economic perspective”.

Bitcoin Energy Consumption Index

Ethereum Energy Consumption Index

Solana Uses as Much Energy as 986 USA Houses Per Year

In total, the entire Solana network — with 1,196 validator nodes and an estimated 20,000,000 transactions — uses an estimated 3,186,000 kWh per year. This is the equivalent of the average electricity usage of 986 American households.

Solana’s Energy Use Report: November 2021

When compared to Bitcoin, this looks amazing. However, also on the Digiconomist’s website is one hell of a scary graph, with “Bitcoin Estimated TWh per Year” shooting through the roof in the year 2021.

The same is true with the Ethereum energy consumption graph! Eek…

Comparing Annual Bitcoin, Ethereum & Solana Blockchain Energy Usage

  • Bitcoin = 197.09 TWh
  • Ethereum = 91.39 TWh
  • Solana = 3,186,000 kWh per year

Comparing Annual Bitcoin, Ethereum & Solana Blockchain Usage (Converted)

  • Bitcoin = 197,090,000,000 kWh per year
  • Ethereum = 91,390,000,000 kWh per year
  • Solana = 3,186,000 kWh per year

Let’s hope we can all reach consensus (regardless of chain) on lowering energy usage to enable Web 3 adoption.

Future Plans for Solana to Become Carbon Neutral

By the end of 2021, the Foundation plans to introduce a program to help make Solana’s validator network carbon neutral and offset the footprint of the ecosystem.

Solana’s Energy Use Report: November 2021

No further information could be found about this, but will definitely be staying tuned!

So What’s the Solution? Could Solana Solve it?

There is no “one chain to rule them all”. The future is multichain. Could wrapped wETH and wBTC running on Solana solve the problem?

Wormhole currently supports 4 external blockchains. The way it works is that it acts as a 2 way bridge, where you can transfer tokenised assets across the from Binance Smart Chain, Ethereum, Polygon and Terra. It is noted that BTC is currently not supported. Once the tokens are transferred onto Solana, they cease to continue creating transactions on the original chain and would use the 1837 Joules per TX rate on Solana! Read the Wormhole docs to learn more.

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