The Bloom Box: The Green Movement Mascot
Posted by Zack Winder on March 11, 2010 in Business News [ 0 Comments ]
Today is the era of green. Green cars, green buildings; the list goes on and on. One can even purchase carbon credits to offset the pollution they create. The ways to participate in the green movement sometimes seem more novelty than practical. Yet some of these ideas are more than a hope or a dream, but an idea to change the world. The next big green idea is the “Bloom Box,” an idea which promise can only be outweighed by its price tag.
The bloom box is a fuel cell technology which offers clean energy that is created with little pollution. Such technologies have been around for some time, but haven’t caught on to the mainstream due to a lack of technology and expensive price tags. The technology offers something other clean energy resources can’t, the possibility to produce power any time of day unlike wind or solar. Besides these attractive features, it hopes to surprise the industry with an affordable price in the near future.
Predictions by the product’s creator, K.R. Sridhar, say the cost will be $3000 for a residential “bloom box” within 5 to 10 years. This is far from the current price tag of $700,000 to $800,000 for commercial units. Multi-national companies like FedEx and eBay have already invested in the technology hoping to take part in the growing attention of the new product. But are these companies really using the technology to go green or is it for their own corporate gain?
As companies draw attention for using the boxes, many experts have analyzed the energy costs of the box to determine whether the cost savings alone is reason enough to purchase a box. Sridhar has stated that it costs 8 to 10 cents per kilowatt hour to power the box. In comparison to the national average of 12 cents per kilowatt hour, the costs sound great after realizing the savings to an energy bill as a whole. On the other hand, people have raised reliability and return on investment questions of the expensive, high-tech boxes.
Now all this attention begs the question: Is the box worth it? From an energy standpoint, anything we can do to produce the enormous energy needs of the country without much pollution should be a sure bet. But is the push for green causing onlookers to miss the downsides or are they convinced it will really change the world? Whatever you think, it will play out before us as over 100 start-up companies in the Silicon Valley are working on their own type of “bloom box.” Keep your eyes open as the green movement continues to lead to green innovation.