The authorities of Ya'an, one of the cities in the Chinese province of Sichuan, issued a guide on the use of “strategic opportunities in the blockchain industry," which include the use of excess hydroelectricity.
In December, China accounted for 65% of the world's bitcoin hashrate, and the southwestern Sichuan province accounted for more than 50% of the total computing power of the network.
However, the guide does not explicitly mention Bitcoin mining. According to local media reports, the government is striving to make the city “one of the centers of the blockchain industry” in China.
These reports follow the change in the position of the Chinese government regarding Bitcoin mining last year. The State Committee for Development and Reform of China included mining in the list of undesirable industries that are “subject to liquidation" in April last year, but abandoned these plans in November.
In general, in Sichuan, there is a problem with the efficient distribution of electricity in the rainy season. For example, authorities in the Gardze-Tibet Autonomous Region in Sichuan province said that in 2017, local hydropower plants generated 41.5 billion kWh, with an excess of 16.3 billion kWh that was wasted.
The rainy season is usually a favorable time of year for local miners. In the southwestern provinces of China, electricity prices could drop by 20% in summer compared to last year.