Everyone’s been emailing me about the recent 60 minutes report about Bloom Energy’s little silver box that will power a home for 3,000 bucks in “5 to 10 years” and thus ruin the solar industry. Not quite. In fact, the two technologies go together like Beer and peanuts. I’ll explain why below, but first, if you didn’t catch it on 60 Minutes, here it is:
So do fuel cells like Bloom Energy mean that solar is soon to be a dinosaur technology like coal powered plants? Not at all, and here’s a bunch of reasons why:
- First of all, as you’ll note in this brief report, a little Bloom box does not work by itself. It needs an outside fuel source. That fuel source can be fossil fuels like dirty coal or cleaner natural gas, or, as stated in this report at about 8 minutes in, renewable energy such as solar.
- Second, as noted in this report, the Bloom Box is still in its experimental phase. There are still kinks to be worked out, and there’s long term history to show that it will last 25 years. Solar has been around since the 1950’s and has a great, reliable track record.
- Solar is ready now, today. According this 60 minutes report, even if all the kinks were worked out, you’re still not going to see a Bloom box in your house for 5 to 10 years. Maybe longer.
- Solar, you can have tomorrow. Then, when and if the Bloom Energy box becomes available for your home or business, you can use your solar panels as the fuel source.
- Finally, if you wait for the Bloom Box, you’re going to continue polluting, as well as losing money to the ever rising utility rates. And what if 5 to 10 years from now, all of the Bloom boxes go bust for some unexpected reason, and they never develop a residential system? You’ve waited for nothing. You’ve lost 5 to 10 years of energy savings for well meaning, but failed device. Because there’s no question the solar will be there. The Bloom box…not so certain.
Honest, we want Bloom to succeed because it’s good for the planet, plus solar can be its fuel source. So, it’s a win-win. But as I said, solar is ready and available now. It’s also clean and affordable now, thanks to local and federal rebates.
Find out if solar is right for you now, then check out Bloom Energy later.