Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Fuel Cell Evaluation

Ever since 60 Minutes profiled Bloom Energy I've been interested in using fuel cells to generate electricity, particularly in commercial use (versus auto, residential, and industrial).  While the buzz around Bloom Energy is compelling and many in the blogsphere trumpet the future of Bloom, I've remained unconvinced - I've had a number of nagging worries.

I came across this analysis for the Seattle WA region public utility that confirmed many of my concerns - without the substantial CA State and Federal subsidies, Bloom isn't viable and it's not clean enough when compared to other renewable energy sources.

At this time, there is no compelling reason for City Light to pursue any interests in solid oxide fuel cell systems. Bloom Energy has the only commercially available system, the ES-5000 Energy Server, and it is available only to facilities located in California with very specific energy requirements. This narrow market focus parallels the structure of major subsidies from state and federal taxpayers and utility ratepayers. (Seattle City Light 2010 Integrated Resource Plan, Appendix I, pg 4)

1 comment:

Mark Howarth said...

Joe, suggest you take a look at an Australian company called Ceramic Fuel Cells limited www.cfcl.com.au

They are listed on the Australian ASX and are a global leader in this technology.