Februari 2020, forbes. Despite big promises, Bloom Energy’s boxes are highly unlikely to transform the grid in California, or anywhere else. The reasons are manifold, but boil down to this: Bloom’s technology is too dirty and too costly.
This should be Bloom’s time to shine. “The natural gas, thanks to fracking, is already there,” Sridhar says. And yet, despite big promises, Sridhar’s boxes are highly unlikely to transform the grid in California, or anywhere else. The reasons are manifold, but boil down to this: Bloom’s technology is too dirty and too costly.
Bloom has never generated a profit, despite at least $1.7 billion of invested capital, some of which was raised on the back of false statements. It could soon be out of runway as lucrative tax credits phase out and financing dries up. Sridhar has already enlisted investment bank Jefferies to help restructure over $300 million of debt coming due at the end of this year. Shares are down nearly 50% since Bloom raised $282 million in its 2018 IPO. And now regulators and even local politicians are clashing with the company. Cities like Berkeley have turned against natural gas for not being green enough. A court recently blocked Santa Clara County, in the heart of Silicon Valley, from essentially banning new Bloom installations unless they are fueled, for instance, by exorbitantly expensive “biogas” siphoned from manure ponds or landfills.