Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Could the best kept secrets be our newest hopes?

For the past decade, Silicon Valley has been brewing something other than tech start ups and crashes (and of course, Facebook fanaticism).

Today, Bloom Energy unveiled what it has been developing over the past 10 years, in the Silicon Valley of California; but this time, it's an alternative energy technology so exciting, and so private, that companies like Google and Bank of America already have it (Wal-Mart too, but I'm still on the fence about Arkansas).

Essentially, the issue is this: fuel cells are expensive, and burn fuels and materials that are expensive. This is the most basic way of explaining why they have not been made more pervasive over the past few years. They also are not (as of now, this day) perfected. This is inevitable with a newer technology!

Bloom Energy, a secretive start up headed by an ex-NASA Mars project employee and scientist, supposedly has found a way to allow fuel cells to not only run at higher temperatures, with cheaper materials and catalysts, but also to enable through these changes, a decrease in overall greenhouse gas emissions.

They will be made for businesses and homes, and are meant to decrease our energy bills and costs, both to individuals and the environment around us.

Sound too good to be true? Maybe. We'll have to see over the next day, weeks, months, and year. The thing is, from a publicity standpoint, their secretiveness and their selective interactions were a business development move of genius.

They've already got 3 huge corporations that "power" (teehee) our economy who have installed and currently use the product. They've got a press conference with Schwarzenneger and former Secretary of State Colin Powell. They've got The New York Times covering their unveiling, real time, on its blog.

And with an expected 3 year payback period (hello, that's teeny tiny), I am hoping for some more good things to come from Silicon Valley (besides my new MacBook Pro that I am typing this on of course).

Check out other exciting Green news on the NY Times blog:



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