Progress report – Cardano Carbon Footprint

We have to be honest, we didn’t manage to work much on the Cardano Carbon Footprint over Christmas. It is still a toss up decisions to either work on the CNC Ala ISPO with multiple deadlines and a large team to keep going OR our Cardano Footprint project. Over the Christmas period the ISPO work won as we also wanted to spend time with our families.

Still, the Cardano Footprint has been on our minds and with a fresh start into the new year we are moving again. We have already done the brainstorming and evaluation on what to include in the assessment and what not. I have written about that Scope in an earlier post, which emphasises that we focus on the layer 1 infrastructure.

To get to that Cardano layer 1 Footprint, we need to know our energy consumption and multiply that with a carbon factor for that energy to get an average carbon impact, which is measure in CO2 equivalents or CO2e. This calculation will give us the impact of our electricity and hardware used. On top of that we add the time our Stake Pool operators spend to maintain those Stake Pools on a basic level.

The challenge is that we have more than 3000 Stake pools running the Cardano blockchain at the moment. These are using different hardware and are located all over the world. While some data, like pool numbers, are relatively clear cut, the locations of all pools and the associated carbon emissions factors for their energy use are more variable.

Together with the Pond Foundation we have reviewed our methodology and compiled a reference library to those important data sources. We will make all sources public when we publish our numbers and allow anybody to reproduce as well as improve if better data becomes available.

However, there are still uncertainties we want to significantly improve on. The cloud server energy consumption is one of these challenges.

Hence I will leave it here and if anybody reading this has a good understanding and resources to help us develop a good method to determine the energy consumption of a VPS in their different set ups, please get in touch.

Thank you.

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