The choice for businesses and consumers, when it comes to becoming eco-friendly, is usually between their budget and their conscience. Many products that offer benefits to the environment aren’t necessarily more cost effective. The dilemma, then, is whether or not to incur greater costs for greater environmental benefits.
The product I am highlighting this week, however, does not present this dilemma because it is proven to be both economically and environmentally advantageous. This product is the Bloom Energy Server, also known as the Bloom Box, made by Bloom Energy. It is a fuel cell that produces clean, reliable, and affordable electricity through an innovative fuel cell process. Fuel cells are devices that convert fuel to electricity through a clean electo-chemical process. The factors that make the Bloom Box different from traditional fuel cells is their use of low-cost materials (versus traditional fuel cells that require platinum), a higher efficiency process, and fuel flexibility (able to choose between both fossil fuels and renewable fuels). All of these factors allow for this technology to be affordable and very valuable.
The hope for Bloom energy is that this Bloom Box can be used to power not only companies’ facilities, but also single-family homes. Bloom Energy predicts that in 5-10 years, it will be common to have a Bloom Box in your basement. This is revolutionary because it removes the necessity of power plants that are harmful to the environment. A customer can reduce their CO2 emissions by 40-100% compared to the US grid (depending on the fuel choice- natural gas or biogas) and eliminate virtually all the smog that would otherwise be present at a power plant. Ultimately, both businesses and consumers can increase their sustainability dramatically by investing in a Bloom Energy Server, while also achieving economic independence.
Companies already using Bloom Boxes include Google, Ebay, and FedEx and they gained a segment on 60 Minutes, only further solidifying the feasibility of this product.
I encourage you to look for yourself at a product that will be at the forefront of electricity generation very soon: http://www.bloomenergy.com/