Is Solana’s Carbon Footprint Decreasing?

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The Solana Foundation have released their latest Solana Energy Use Report. The report is part of a series of reports that showcases the foundation’s latest efforts and developments in their commitment to making Solana carbon neutral.

The Solana Foundation is a non-profit organisation headquartered in Zug, Switzerland, which is dedicated to making the Solana Network more decentralised, helping its growth, and improving its security.

What the Solana Foundation reported

According to the Solana Foundation, emissions per validator on the Solana network fell roughly 48%, despite the network’s estimated carbon footprint growing by 26%. As mentioned in their report:

  • The assessment of the overall carbon footprint of the network is 3,412 tonne CO2 per year, up 26 percent from 2,707 tonne CO2 per year in March 2022.
  • The overall carbon footprint is measured by adding emissions due to power consumption (1,772 tonne CO2 per year) and emissions due to hardware production, also known as e-waste (1,639 tonne CO2 per year).

And the primary drivers of emissions estimate changes were including the evaluation of e-waste emissions for the first time, a drop in estimated power use for validators, as well as better estimates of renewable energy use in data centres.

As the report states:

  • The incorporation of emissions due to hardware production (e-waste) into the energy use report, which added 1,639 tonne CO2 per year.
  • Decreased emissions as a result of a reduction in the estimated power consumption per validator node, which fell 48 percent from 984W to 509W per validator node.
  • Improved accuracy due to the inclusion of data center-specific renewable energy utilization, which lowered average network carbon intensity roughly ten percent from 198 to 180 gCO2 per KWh.

In order to remain as transparent as possible, the Solana Foundation are uploading all the data and analysis they have done to their solana-climate GitHub page, allowing others to also use and build on the dataset.

Carbon emission estimations are hard as is, and this is no different for the blockchain industry. But like any other industry, teams and companies building on blockchain tech will (and are) being called to address the issue of their higher than normal energy use that brings with it the by product of CO2. This is what the Solana Foundation hopes to achieve through their analyses.

According to their tweet:

The whole ecosystem has an important role in building a more sustainable network. The Solana Foundation encourages all validators and projects to take a look at their own emissions data and mitigate where possible.

They go on to mention Orca, the leading AMM on Solana, and their story. Recently, Ori, the co-founder of Orca, published “What DAOs can do about climate change” on Medium, which is “a deep dive from the Orca Climate Fund into carbon accounting, validator energy consumption, and other ways crypto projects can take responsibility for their climate impact.”

Learn more about Solana’s carbon footprint here.

The bigger picture

The Solana network ecosystem is growing at a fast pace, and so are many other blockchain ecosystems. It is now more important than ever for the team of people behind these networks to be as transparent with not only their energy use and needs, but also the efforts they are making to combat the issue.

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