Bloom Energy’s Peter Gross talks distributed power generation

The national grid is antiquated, potentially poorly secured, and what powers the vast majority of mission critical data centers.

At the recent Energy Smart Summit, held at DCD’s Webscale event in San Francisco, Bloom Energy VP Peter Gross makes a concerted pitch for diversifying one’s energy supply - namely with the company’s solid oxide fuel cells.

Fuel for thought

“If you look at the entire utility infrastructure,” Gross said, “there are major concerns at every level: If you remember events like Katrina, Sandy, Fukushima, etc; If you consider the risk of cyber threats directly addressing the utility infrastructure, there is a whole slew of factors that are raising interest in distributed generation.

“What’s more important is the aging of the utility infrastructure. The national electric grid is widely considered the greatest engineering achievement of the 20th century, but it’s an aging infrastructure.”

He added: “By no means am I trying to imply that the grid is unreliable, but still, in today’s environment where digital power is essential to the welfare of our society, mission critical environments, primarily data centers, are so dependent on power that there is more and more of this tendency of companies trying to get more of a control of their power destiny. That brings us to this concept of distributed generation.”

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