Earlier this week 60 Minutes showed Bloom Energy's Bloom Box and the topic trended #1 on google. It's quite a result - a high level of interest in new technical ways of generating electricity and power.
Fuel cells have great potential. This 3000 home power station in Korea is currently generating electricity and heat at 80% efficiency. It produces power at about AUD 0.23 per unit (roughly similar to the retail price of electricity in Australia) and 50% of this price is gas - a relatively expensive imported commodity in Korea. In Australia or other countries with gas resources the power could be a lot cheaper.
Fuel cells, in a world first from Australian company BlueGen, are also installed in houses. The units, about the size of 2 washing machines, promise to cut household power bills by about $1,100. Costs to the homeowners are still being worked on.
Picture: BlueGen Home fuel cell. It produces up to 75% less carbon dioxide emissions than Victoria’s current coal-fired generators – saving up to 18 tonnes of carbon per unit per year.