The majority of our energy systems rely on a highly centralized structure; creating tremendous inefficiencies from the loss of power along the grid. A decentralized approach would increase efficiency greatly but the technologies for this type of solution have not emerged.
Now comes Bloom Energy. While it is uncertain if Bloom has actually overcome cost and reliability issues with fuel cells, CEO Sridhar recently told BusinessWeek, the Bloom box could reach “grid parity” for home use, or competitive pricing with conventional electricity sources in 3-5 years.
In two days a scheduled press conference will provide more technical information. Simply scaling down a natural gas plant and providing similar costs and reliability would be a huge accomplishment let alone achieving a home use solution. The press conference is highly anticipated and the Bloom web site has a count down to the conference.
Fortune Magazine recently reported Bloom Box's technology is based on ceramic plates stacked atop each other to form modules that can be assembled into a unit of any size. With about $400 million in venture funding the company has been working on the technology for about eight years. Kleiner Perkins and other major Venture Capitalists are backing Bloom Energy.
The potential for both achieving reductions in pollution relating to our inefficient power supply and distribution systems while delivering greater effiency more economically holds out great hope for our future. In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that's inexpensive and clean. Watch the 60 minutes story to learn more.