A transaction on the Solana network takes less energy than two Google searches and 24 times less energy than recharging your phone, according to a November 25 report from the Solana Foundation.
The report indicates that a single transaction on its network uses 0.00051 kWh, or 1,836 joules, of energy. According to Google, an average search uses 0.0003 kWh or 1080 joules of energy.
Perhaps more surprisingly, the report claims that the entire Solana grid uses about 3,186,000 kWh per year, which is equivalent to the average electricity consumption of 986 US households.
In May, the Solana Foundation entrusted Robert Murphy with writing the report in order to “frame the environmental impact” of transactions on the Solana network. Murphy is the founder of Othersphere and was previously an energy specialist at the World Bank.
The Solana network is less decentralized than Bitcoin or Ethereum with 1,196 validation nodes that process around 20 million transactions per year. The report says the Foundation will further reduce grid energy consumption by implementing a program before the end of this year to become carbon neutral and offset the ecosystem’s environmental footprint. No further information was provided on whether the network plans to purchase carbon offsets or actually reduce its emissions.
As Solana (SOL) relies on a Proof of Stake consensus mechanism, the network consumes much less power than those that rely on the Proof of Work mining method like Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Statista estimates that a single BTC transaction uses an average of 4,222,800,000 joules.
It should be noted that grids do not technically use any particular amount of energy for an individual transaction. The power consumption of the network can be the same whether it processes a transaction or a million. However, it is often used as a rough comparison, if contested,
With that in mind, an Ethereum transaction uses around 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 an ETH transaction is comparable to “more than several thousand VISA card transactions”.
Related: Climate impact of Crypto: are carbon offsets sufficient?
However, Eth2 is expected to use around 99% less power than the current mainnet after switching to Proof of take.
Ripple (XRP) is another low power alternative, which uses 28,440 joules per transaction. Ripple says that for every million transactions on its network, the amount of energy used could have powered a light bulb for 79,000 hours.
For the same number of transactions, the energy used by BTC could power a light bulb for 4.51 billion hours. For this reason, Ripple claims that XRP is 57,000 times more efficient than BTC.