>Yes, Colin Powell, is a board member of Bloom Energy, an exciting fuel cell technology company. Founded in 2001 by KR Sridhar, Ph.D, a former professor of Aerospace and Mechanical Engineering at the University of Arizona, and Director of its Space Technologies Laboratory. Bloom Energy is claiming to have produced the next generation fuel cell with its Energy Servers, a type of solid oxide fuel cell.
The Energy Servers can use natural gas, fossil fuels, or other renewable sources. The Servers are about the size of a parking space, and the first commercial (100kW) Energy Server was shipped to Google in 2008. Other customers include eBay, FedEx, Walmart, Staples, Bank of America, and the Coca-Cola Company. The commercial Energy Servers are priced around $7-800,000.00 per unit, but (especially considering government incentives) most customers expect to recoup the initial cost in 3 to 5 years.
Bloom Energy’s next step is likely home-sized units, which when mass-produced, should cost under $3,000.00. If all goes well, and the technology is as feasible, then it could herald a revolutionary change in the way we power our homes and businesses.