Electricity is a foundational element of every economy and is a required part of every business’s supply chain whether it is a small retail or large industrial business.
According to the EIA, approximately 60 percent of electricity in the US is consumed by commercial and industrial (C&I) users. The 20th century electricity system that businesses rely on is based on centrally generating electricity at large power plants and transmitting it across thousands of miles to end users.
This infrastructure is now facing cost, reliability and sustainability challenges due to aging infrastructure, increasingly frequent natural events such as storms like Hurricane Sandy, and the negative impact of greenhouse gas and other pollutants from combustion based power plants the majority of which were built prior to 1980.
Now, the electricity sector is at the beginning of a profound transformation similar to what has been experienced in telecommunications with deregulation and exponential growth of mobile devices since the 1990s. Distributed generation sources like solar, battery storage, and now fuel cells are becoming prevalent while decreasing in cost and increasing in performance, so for the first time energy customers have energy choices. C&I customers are at the forefront of this change as they are spending approximately $16 billion annually on electricity.
Bloom Energy is focused on providing distributed generation to businesses who want to take control of their energy destiny. We currently power the facilities of more than 100 C&I customers and 20 out of the Fortune 100 businesses with our onsite, solid oxide fuel cell technology based Energy Servers.
We serve customers here in Delaware including JPMorgan Chase and Delmarva, as well as customers across the country like Apple, eBay, FedEx, Johnson & Johnson, Kellogg’s, Walmart among others. Bloom Energy Servers provide a long-term fixed electric cost for our customers who are experienced energy buyers and appreciate the predictability of budget for their operations.
Additionally, many businesses require power that is more reliable than the grid for a range of reasons including retailers wanting to remain open during grid outages, manufacturers seeking to avoid assembly line interruptions or ecommerce and financial services firms requiring constant uptime of their data centers. Our mission critical solution offers enhanced reliability over standard backup alternatives while delivering savings even in regions with relatively inexpensive power.
Bloom fuel cells convert fuel into electricity via an electrochemical reaction rather than combustion, virtually eliminating smog forming particulates and harmful emissions by conventional power plants.
Bloom Energy Servers generate only a fraction of the CO2 produced by conventional power plants equipped with the best available control technology (BACT) — the U.S. EPA’s benchmark. When using biogas, the Bloom Energy Server provides 100% carbon neutral power generation. In addition, our Energy Servers do not consume water during ongoing operation compared to approximately 7.5 million gallons on average per megawatt annually produced by conventional electricity generation.
This is an exciting time in which businesses around the country are taking advantage of their newfound energy choices. Together we are creating a new, hybrid centralized and decentralized 21st century power infrastructure for a more resilient and sustainable future.
Asim Hussain is vice president of marketing and customer experience at Bloom Energy. He has worked extensively in the areas of market and business development, marketing, sales enablement and product management in early stage, high-growth, clean technology companies.