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Summary:

As we reported earlier this week, next week looks to be the big unveiling of stealthy fuel cell company Bloom Energy’s Bloom Box. The company is holding a media event on Wednesday, February 24, but this Sunday, “60 Minutes” will air behind-the-scenes video footage of Bloom […]

As we reported earlier this week, next week looks to be the big unveiling of stealthy fuel cell company Bloom Energy’s Bloom Box. The company is holding a media event on Wednesday, February 24, but this Sunday, “60 Minutes” will air behind-the-scenes video footage of Bloom Energy and its factory. “60 Minutes” affiliate CBS News already has a meaty teaser article on its site, reporting some of the exclusive information it’s found, including that Google, eBay, FedEx, Staples and Walmart are among Bloom Energy’s first 20 customers and that Bloom is building “one box a day” in its factory.

CBS has more details on pricing of the Bloom boxes, too. Each large box, which can power about 100 homes, sells for $700,000 to $800,000, and Bloom hopes to one day (in the next 5-10 years) sell a smaller home version for about $3,000. The CEO of eBay John Donahoe tells 60 Minutes that nine months ago five Bloom boxes were installed on eBay’s campus and so far the boxes have saved the Internet giant $100,000 in electricity bills. We’ll make sure to watch the “60 Minutes” clip and keep you updated.

  1. Based on what is being reported in this article the return on investment is not very high:

    Cost of 5 Boxes at eBay: 5($750,000; “average cost”) – $3,750,000
    Savings on Electricity Per Year at Ebay: (12/9)*$100,000 – $133,333

    ROI = 133,333)/3,750,0000 = .0355555555 or 3.56%

    Am I missing something here? Is it $100,000 per box that they saved?

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  2. waiting for the update we do not have CBS down here

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  3. [...] ClearEdge is a bit different, focusing on $50,000 fuel-cell generators suited to powering individual households and depending solely on natural gas. But it may only have a few years head start in this arena. Bloom has already expressed its intention to develop a box for the home market that could cost as little as $3,000 in the next five to ten years, as Earth2Tech also points out. [...]

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  4. [...] ClearEdge is a bit different, focusing on $50,000 fuel-cell generators suited to powering individual households and depending solely on natural gas. But it may only have a few years’ head start in this arena. Bloom has already expressed its intention to develop a box for the home market that could cost as little as $3,000 in the next five to 10 years, as Earth2Tech also points out. [...]

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  5. There must be some subsidies the article doesn’t mention? Otherwise it will take 30 years for eBay just to repay the initial investment, to say nothing of earning a return.

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  6. joe the realist Sunday, February 21, 2010

    The problem with this box is that you wont own it. You will have to pay a monthly fee to have it. And of course the fee will be as large, or larger than your current electric bill.

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  7. Just saw the TV Story; its my humble opinion in ten years Boom box will be owned by General Electric. Then a research group will meet behind closed doors for the next hundred years ironing out problems. this “invention” will be like the electric automobile, or the car battery that will never fail.

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    1. Or, Nichola Tesla wanting to broadcast electricity over the air free, for all to benefit. That got shot down quick. How about the australian that developed a magnetic self propelled generator that could power a household easily? I think he was bought out for a large sum.

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  8. Apparently the state of California gives a 20% energy credit and I think the FEDS give 30% and so the cost is cut in half. And presumably when, and IF, they can increase production (and HOPEFULLY fix the glitches), get manufacturing regionally, and refine the fuel options.
    It certainly sounds appealing and promising but I am no expert (hardly) but when the ‘INNOVATORS’ of the business world like Google and EBay jump into a ‘unknown’ (under a veil of secrecy) I think we need to be AWARE and WATCH. Let’s hope that the upbeat attitude of the Bloom team will catch on (pun not intended) and they will stay just as dedicated to what appears to be their very green target and help save the planet.

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    1. oops, apparently I am not an expert on finishing a sentence either. I should have finished my second sentence with decreasing costs of the Bloombox.

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  9. Lonnie Summerlin Sunday, February 21, 2010

    I would like to be the first to try out the bloom box at my home.

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