Solana’s Energy Use Report shows a 48% decrease in emission in the last quarter
Emissions per validator fell nearly 48%, despite the network’s estimated carbon footprint growing by 26%.
Solana Foundation has released the third edition of its Energy Impact Report with an independent evaluation by an external panel of experts on the carbon footprint and energy impact generated by its blockchain.
The report, based on a “novel dataset and analysis” by Othersphere led by Robert Murphy, shows that network’s overall emissions rose roughly 26% during the past six months driven by overall growth in the validator network and the addition of hardware production (e-waste) emissions in the analysis.
The assessment of the overall carbon footprint of the network is 3,412 tonne CO2 per year, up 26% from 2,707 tonne CO2 per year in March 2022. At the same time, however, the report highlights decreased emissions as a result of a reduction in the estimated power consumption per validator node, which fell 48% from 984W to 509W per validator node. The updates in this latest energy report are largely reflective of improvements in methodology the Foundation has taken to be more comprehensive and precise in its emissions accounting.
The report also states: “While there are always improvements to be made, when it comes to emissions reduction, it’s important to note that Solana remains an incredibly energy-efficient blockchain and that the network is carbon neutral due through the Foundation’s purchase of offsets. This analysis found that running the entire Solana network for an hour uses less energy than a single Bitcoin transaction.”
Along with the decrease in emissions, the price of SOL has also fallen from $88 to the current $31 since March 2022, following the trend of other cryptocurrencies. Specifically, in the last month SOL has fluctuated around $34, with peaks of almost $39 and lows of $30.
Additionally, the Foundation is tracking the release of several new features expected to make the network more energy efficient. These include compressed NFTs (that will make it possible to mint 8 to 10 NFTs in a single transaction, drastically reducing the energy consumption per mint) and doubling of transaction size (that will significantly increase the per-block efficiency of the chain and enable the network to accomplish more in a single transaction for a minimal increase in computing power).
In 2021, the Solana Foundation began tracking the carbon footprint of the Solana blockchain and enlisted outside expertise to conduct an independent assessment of the chain’s emissions.