According to a November 25 report by the Solana Foundation, transactions on the Solana network consume less energy than two Google searches and 24 times less energy than charging a mobile phone.
The report states that one transaction on the network uses 0.00051 kWh, or 1,836 joules of energy. According to Google, the average search uses 0.0003kWh or 1,080 joules of energy.
Perhaps even more surprising, the report claims that the entire Solana network uses an estimated 3,186,000 kWh per year. This is equivalent to the average electricity usage of 986 households in the United States.
In May, the Solana Foundation signed a report with Robert Murphy to build the environmental impact of transactions on the Solana network. Murphy is the founder of Othersphere and formerly an Energy Specialist at the World Bank.
The Solana network is not as decentralized as Bitcoin or Ethereum and has 1,196 validator nodes processing an estimated 20 million transactions annually. The report states that the Foundation will be carbon-neutral by the end of this year and will further reduce the energy usage of the network by implementing a program to offset the environmental footprint of the ecosystem. No additional information is provided as to whether the network plans to purchase carbon offsets or actually reduce emissions.
Because Solana (SOL) relies on a proof-of-stake consensus mechanism, networks are far less energy-intensive than networks that rely on proof-of-work mining techniques such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Statista estimates that one BTC transaction uses an average of 4,222,800,000 joules.
Keep in mind that networks technically do not use a certain amount of energy for individual transactions. Network energy usage is the same whether you are processing a single transaction or a million. However, when there is a conflict, it is often used as a rough comparison.
With that in mind, one Ethereum transaction uses approximately 644,004,000 joules, based on the average number of transactions and the amount of energy required to run the network. According to Statista, the energy consumption of a single ETH transaction is comparable to over thousands of Visa card transactions.
Related: Cryptographic Climate Impact: Are Carbon Offsets Sufficient?
However, Eth2 is expected to use about 99% less energy than the current mainnet after switching to the Proof of Take.
Another low-energy alternative is Ripple (XRP), which uses 28,440 joules per transaction. According to Ripple, for every one million transactions on the network, the amount of energy used could have been able to power the bulb for 79,000 hours.
With the same amount of transactions, the energy used by BTC can power a bulb for 4.51 billion hours. For this reason, Ripple claims that XRP is 57,000 times more efficient than BTC.
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