GreenTech: Other Energy Alternatives

It’s that time again… when we all gather and pour over the decisions we’ve made the past year, reflect on the months gone, consider what’s ahead, and what we can do to be even better in the future. This applies not only in our personal lives, but it’s going on in executive meetings at companies across the country, and in summits and gatherings of leaders of industry. We’ll all look forward to the next year, imagine the terrain, and try to plot our next steps.

That happened recently at the 15th annual Singapore International Energy Week, held in October of this year. This year’s event, and many like it, are all delivering similar talking points that boil down to a single assertion: we’re in a global energy crisis. According to the Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA), Dr. Fatih Birol, a combination of tightening LNG markets, oil cuts, and consumers strapped for cash means we have some formidable obstacles to navigate.

That means now is the time to survey the land and go in when we see the diamonds in the dirt. With energy security now our “number one” driver in the fast-moving energy transition, this time of upheaval must be harnessed to form sustainable energy systems. We must rethink entire systems… as daunting as that seems, we’ll remind you, fortune favors the brave.

Onsite Power in Sight

Now is the time to set about reimagining how things look, so we can innovate for something better than we have. Case in point: onsite power systems, which are likely to replace centralized power stations… onsite power systems like those being created by Bloom Energy, who makes and distributes commercial Hydrogen Energy Servers. These small power stations are 100% hydrogen-powered fuel cells capable of delivering on-site, around-the-clock, zero-carbon electricity in a modular design.

If we could draw you a picture of the way this thing looks, you could liken it to an industrial air conditioning unit in size, but sleeker and more attractive. Bloom went with hydrogen-powered fuel cells for their design because other renewable energy sources, like wind or solar, aren’t constant. Those sources, being inherently intermittent, require curtailment efforts to balance generation with consumption. That’s a problem they’ve solved.

Because their systems store hydrogen to be converted into 24/7, zero-carbon electricity when it’s needed, anyone, even remote communities with renewable resources capable of self-generating fuel for electricity can utilize them. We know what this means… the holy grail of all buzzwords of 2022 was “off grid”, right? Yup… and Bloom knows the world needs it, so they’re making it. It’s time to get back to basics, but without the frontier days feel (thank goodness).

Back To Basics

If current trends hold, in the fairly near future, communities and businesses won’t rely on centralized power. We’ll instead have personalized, onsite power… and we’re happy to introduce you to the perfect community where technology like Bloom’s power stations could find a new home. Because, at the same time that our energy crisis is reshaping that space, people are reshaping how housing and community look through reimagining and rebuilding where they are… communities like South Park Cottages in College Park, Georgia, a new tiny home community.

But South Park Cottages isn’t just a community made up of little homes… these are the types of homes, in the type of neighborhood, with the sense of community, that people are finding their way back to. South Park Cottages was born of the efforts of real estate developers Booker T. Washington and Rashad Jones-Jennings when the duo saw a need in their community and acted on it. Their answer was to create a community of micro-homes, with the dream of making home ownership attainable for average folks.

What was born is a community of 29 tiny homes, each below 1,000 square feet, with full kitchens and bathrooms. Now, here’s where we connect the dots…. South Park Cottages is where Bloom’s technology could come into play to help shape the future of living. Instead of this community needing to connect to the power grid, worry about countless points of failure that could impact them, and sharing the price load of other customers, they would have their own, private source of energy for their community.

Smaller Houses, Nimble Grids

If we consider the realities and risks of centralized energy, such as the severe problems of the Texas power grid over the last few years, we can easily begin to understand why a small, local source of power, that can be managed, enjoyed, and paid for directly by those within its orbit is the way of the future. So… while South Park Cottages is a pioneer in the tiny home community space, you can bet your bottom dollar we’ll see communities like this cropping up like wildfire.

We’re already seeing the early adopters go homesteading in tiny homes, the next natural evolution of that is adoption by larger bases of people within the community… the waterfall of an idea, as someone very smart once said, whose time has finally come. Bloom energy, and others like it, are building the power sources. Visionaries, like the brave souls of South Park Cottages, are building the communities… the pairing of the two seems only natural.

We think a great reimagining is here, a rethinking of systems to reshape the future. Hopefully, into something brighter and warmer. We don’t think getting back to basics means giving up our creature comforts, we just need to rethink how we go about them. In the future, we’re downsizing and localizing. Maybe we’ve learned that bigger, isn’t better… come back next week, we’ll bring you more from the cutting edge of green technology. See you then!