Bloom Energy Hopes to Get Businesses off the Grid

Electricity for eight to nine cents per kilowatt hour

A light turns on for alternative energy

Bloom Energy has launched a new energy server with patented solid-oxide fuel-cell technology that can generate 100 kW, enough to power one small office building or 100 average U.S. homes. The Bloom Energy Server makes it possible to generate electricity locally, rather than purchasing it from a utility company.

The company says a server costs from $700,000 to $800,000, not including fuel, and that it will generate electricity for eight to nine cents per kilowatt hour. Proponents hope that the servers will someday provide clean, reliable, and affordable energy around the world. To date, A-list customers include Google, eBay, FedEx, Coca-Cola, Cox Enterprises and Wal-Mart.

Not for everyone . . . yet

In a article, Bloom Energy CEO Dr KR Sridhar said the company is “dedicated to making clean, reliable energy affordable for everyone in the world.” Right now, however,  it would take much more than a payday loan – more, even, than the combined amount of the maximum number of payday loans allowed by law — to get your hands on a Bloom Energy Server. The much-hyped launch of the energy server probably was not attended by many everyday people in need of a cash advance, but high-profile types like California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Secretary of State Colin Powell, and venture capitalist John Doerr were there.

One hundred percent cleaner than traditional methods

According to the article, the Bloom Energy Server contains thousands of ceramic fuel cells that generate electricity using an electrochemical process rather than the traditional combustion method. When the Bloom Energy Server cells are powered by biogas or some other renewable fuel source, the electrical generation process is 100 percent cleaner than traditional coal-fired electrical generation. When powered with fossil fuels, the Bloom Energy Server is about 67 percent cleaner than traditional methods.

Other recent posts by bryanh

How to Invest Your 401(k) Dollars

Most 401(k) plans have a wide range of investment choices, but figuring out which ones are correct for you can be tricky. What should you consider when allocating your 401(k) dollars?