Op-ed: An Abkhazia without electricity or cryptomining. 'Farms' to be disconnected
Mining has again been banned in Abkhazia and fingered as the main reason for the acute energy crisis, in which the republic has been submerged since the end of September.
This business was legal in Abkhazia for a little over two months and during this time it managed to cause serious damage to the energy sector.
Power grids cannot withstand the loads and fail daily; substations are catching on fire.
In addition, electricity itself is in short supply.
Since November 15, a rolling blackout regime has been in effect in Abkhazia. In fact, the only source of electricity in Abkhazia is the Ingur hydroelectric power station, which is jointly used by Georgia and Abkhazia, and the 40 percent of its generation due to Abkhazia had already been consumed by the beginning of October.
Power engineers believe that this happened precisely because of the cryptocurrency miners; they account for at least 30 percent of all energy consumed.
And sometime around January 15-20, the Ingur HPP will be completely stopped for repairs for at least 100 days, until about May 10, 2021.
Abkhazia has been trying to develop an approach towards mining for at least three years. It was banned in December 2018, and then legalized again in October 2020.
The authorities believed that by bringing this business out of the shadows, they would be able to limit the energy consumed by crypto farms, and invest the proceeds in the modernization of the electric grid.
But in the end, the government did not succeed in anything it had planned.
The decision to ban mining again was inevitable. The fire at the Sukhum-1 substation that occurred on December 4 and cut off the power supply to half of the Abkhaz capital for several days only accelerated the decision to ban.
The consequences of the fire, according to the assurances of power engineers, will take two weeks to be overcome. Throughout this period, the emergency area is partly connected to other substations, but at the same time, due to overloads in the network, it is supplied with electricity only a few hours a day.
The government is going to carry out large-scale raids in the city of Sukhum over the next two days and turn off all subscribers who creates additional loads, otherwise the situation at the Sukhum-1 substation may repeat itself.
Social media is very caustic in comments about the government’s intentions. The criticism boils down to the fact that when the farms are closed, high-ranking officials should not forget about their own farms…