Tezos: An Energy-Efficient Blockchain

Tezos is an energy-efficient and self-upgradable Proof of Stake blockchain with an average energy footprint of 17 global citizens.

Sustainability Through Innovation

A lot has been written about blockchains and the potential energy and carbon footprint they carry; but not all blockchains are created equal. Tezos, as a pioneering layer 1 Proof-of-Stake blockchain, has always been recognized as an energy-efficient alternative to more traditional Proof of Work blockchains. The total annual carbon footprint of the Tezos blockchain is equivalent to the average energy footprint of 17 global citizens.

Green, Clean Blockchain

The low carbon footprint of Tezos means developers and users can prioritize innovation without compromising sustainability. As a platform designed to evolve through its on-chain governance mechanism, the efficiency of Tezos is not by accident, but by design. This flexible design means that Tezos can always adapt to future needs and grow in accordance with the needs of the users on the platform. In fact, the Tezos blockchain has increased in energy efficiency on a per transaction basis by at least 70%, with the estimated electricity requirement per transaction being less than 30% in 2021 than what it was in 2020.

PoS vs. PoW

The Tezos network’s annual energy consumption is estimated at 0.001 TWh. Tezos’ Proof of Stake (PoS) design means it can operate in an energy-efficient manner–other popular Proof of Work (PoW) networks use significantly more energy to (Ethereum 26 TWh; Bitcoin 130 TWh) – this makes it an ideal platform for building blockchain applications that are energy-efficient and sustainable.

Scalable Efficiency

The Tezos network has grown considerably as NFTs, DeFi, and other blockchains use cases have attracted mainstream attention, however the energy consumption of the network has decreased proportionally to increased activity on-chain. This means Tezos is becoming more efficient with energy consumption as the number of transactions increases.

Tezos’ Carbon Footprint

The Tezos network consumes approximately 2.4E-4 g CO2 eq. per unit of gas and 2.5 g CO2 eq. per transaction.

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Tezos Life Cycle Assessment (LCA)

PricewaterhouseCoopers Advisory SAS - a French member firm of the PwC network of member firms, each of which is a separate legal entity - (hereinafter “PwC”) was engaged to analyze the actual carbon footprint of nodes on the Tezos network in accordance with the requirements of ISO 14040 and 14044 standards.

Tezos Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) by PwC

In accordance with the requirements of ISO 14040 and 14044 standards, the Tezos LCA - conducted by PwC - looked at the energy consumption and carbon footprint of nodes on the Tezos network and was subject to a critical review by an independent expert hired by Nomadic Labs. This critical review is included in the LCA report.

The LCA focused on three functional units related to running a node as a baker; making a single transaction; and consuming one gas unit for a smart contract. To consider the increase in the Tezos’ adoption rate in 2021, the year 2020 and the period January to mid-November 2021 extrapolated to one year were studied. The LCA is based on a questionnaire addressed to bakers between March/April 2021, Tezos explorers (2020-Nov 21), bibliographic literature and recognized LCA databases.

Key Findings

The Tezos blockchain protocol total annual carbon footprint for 2021 approximates the average footprint of 17 World citizens*. The LCA found that Tezos blockchain protocol represents approximately 2.4E-4 g CO2 eq. per unit of gas and 2.5 g CO2 eq. per transaction. The annual carbon consumption of running a node as a baker on Tezos is approximately 161 kg CO2 eq. The LCA findings should be read in conjunction with the limitations and disclaimers outlined in the report and notably the limits relating to the scope studied, data collection and available life cycle inventories in existing databases.

Interested in learning more? Download the full report from PwC below:

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* The average environmental impact of one person in the world is provided by the Product Environmental Footprint methodology developed by the European Commission's Joint Research Center.