The governor of the Irkutsk region in Russia complained to the government about illegal miners. Because of them, power outages may begin in the region.
According to the letter from Irkutsk region governor Igor Koschev to Russian Deputy Prime Minister Alexander Novak, in 2021 electricity consumption by the population in the Irkutsk Region will allegedly exceed the level of 2020 by 159%. In the past four years, the population of the region consumed an average of 5.9 billion kWh, while only in the first half of 2021 4.7 billion kWh were consumed.
The governor associates more than a twofold increase in energy consumption with the illegal mining of cryptocurrencies. Kobzev writes about "an avalanche-like increase in energy consumption from the underground mining of cryptocurrency at tariffs for the population." He connects the growth of mining with the ban on mining introduced in China and the "relocation of a significant amount of equipment to the Irkutsk region."
In his letter, Kobzev warns of increased loads on the power grid and possible risks of accidents and outages. In addition, unregistered miners consume electricity at tariffs for the population, not enterprises, which aggravates the problem of cross-subsidizing in the energy sector, which allows keeping electricity prices for the population at a level below the cost price due to increased tariffs for enterprises.
The problem of illegal mining farms in the region was confirmed to Vedomosti by En + Group and the Ministry of Energy of Russia.
The cost of 1 kWh in the Irkutsk region is the lowest in Russia and amounts to 1.23 rubles ($0.017) for households.