In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that’s inexpensive and clean, with no emissions. Well over 100 start-ups in Silicon Valley are working on it, and one of them, Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard.
You’ll generate your own electricity with the box and it’ll be wireless. The idea is to one day replace the big power plants and transmission line grid, the way the laptop moved in on the desktop and cell phones supplanted landlines.
K.R. Sridhar, CEO of Bloom Energy, will unveil a possible miracle at a big press event on Wednesday in Silicon Valley. His invention the “Bloom Box” is a self contained “fuel cell” . A large box you put fuel and air in and out comes electricity. The company says the unit does not vibrate, emits no sound, and has no smell. Clean energy from a box in your back yard. Sridhar says he hope to eventually have the device selling for as low as $3,000.
Sridhar, an India-born PhD who once led a team of NASA scientists trying to develop the technology to sustain life on Mars, has been working with the help of $400,000 million venture capital, on development of the Bloom Box for over 8 years.
60 Minutes’ Lesley Stahl interviewed the parties involved in creating and financing this project on tonight’s broadcast. Bloom energy has a lot of sharp people believing. There was an allusion to producing oxygen on Mars. He reversed his Mars machine and invented a new kind of fuel cell. This was a very interesting episode.
If this fuel cell works out, we would no longer need utility companies in the long run. Electricity could be generated on site where ever it is needed. But that will be in the long run. In the mean time the unit cost about $700,000 to $800,000 for one that could power up to 100 homes. But for industry this could be a cost effective solution.