Monday, February 22, 2010

The Bloom Box. Clean energy made simple? Maybe.

I was intrigued by the 60 minutes piece on Bloom Energy and their supposedly revolutionary fuel cell that could replace the energy grid as we know it.

They claim that every home will have one in the
back yard and that a box that you can hold in your hand will power an entire household....well...maybe two boxes for an American household.

Obviously the cost needs to come down for it to be a viable solution.   Customers such as Google and Ebay have already purchased systems and claim that they are saving $100,000/ year on energy costs.  What 60 minutes didn't question was Ebay's $3.7 Million cost of the devices...a staggering amount that would take 37 years to make back based on the savings...  but not including any of the financing required to purchase these boxes in the first place and the maintenance that will be inevitable cost.  (I'm sure Ebay paid cash) Assuming that the current cost of a home unit would be in the $10,000 range, then the savings to a homeowner would only be about $266/year.  

Ok wait a minute... that's still a savings, I agree, and certainly worth taking a closer look.  If the cost can come down dramatically and we can eliminate the existing power lines that are a blight on our environment, then the BloomBox might be the next great revolutionary change.

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