Bloom Box

4 Mar

Is the much touted Bloom Box the real deal? Nobody knows. What I do know, though, is that the recent 60 Minutes segment on Bloom Energy guru K.R. Sridhar is a class puff piece, with Leslie Stahl on the mound offering up softball after softball.

A few impressions …

Sridhar may be a “rocket scientist,” as Stahl breathlessly informs us, but he’s also a smooth pitchman with a polished spiel. Something about the guy broadcasts “snake oil.”

The pitch is that a Bloom Box is its own power plant, providing enough power for a business, home, etc. But is it necessarily a good thing to be off the grid? For some reason, many people assume that “the grid” is bad or flawed, and that being off it is desirable. Maybe. But what happens when your shiny new Bloom Box breaks down and you have no power, or have to switch to limited emergency backup power?

A Bloom Box costs around $800,000. A wee bit expensive, no? I supposed they may make sense for very large corporations like Google and eBay. But obviously not for most regular home owners. Let me know when the cost is down to around $2000.

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