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Bloombox is not green!

Posted by EricBall, 25 February 2010 · 488 views

I was listening to the 60 Minutes podcast and they were doing a segment on the Bloombox, which is based on a fuel cell. The thing which annoys me is they call this "green energy". Umm, folks . . . you're generating electricity by consuming gaseous hydrocarbons (typically natural gas), which isn't green IMHO unless you are capturing bio-methane. And even then you're replacing the power grid with some sort of hydrocarbon delivery system. They also talk about avoiding grid losses, but half of my gas bill is "delivery charges"! Pushing gas down a pipeline ain't free folks!

This is not to say a fuel cell can't be used to generate power, or that it won't have value in some situations. But listening to the segment I couldn't believe the hype and spin which were being presented as fact. (OTOH, it's a good thing it wasn't broadcast with last week's segment on con artists and Ponzi schemes. Bloombox has taken a lot of VC money, and the few boxes they have sold weren't cheap either.)

It's considered green because it's supposedly much more efficient at converting fuel to electricity when compared to something like a natural gas fired turbine.
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