Many of America’s largest corporations now believe the electric grid is unreliable and are quietly developing the capability to operate without it.
Companies in a wide variety of industries are scrambling to produce their own energy. Retailers, technology companies, and banks now recognize the need for alternative sources of electricity.
The Bloom Box
Walmart, Google, eBay, Coca-Cola, Bank of America, FedEx, Safeway, Verizon, AT&T, Adobe, Honda, and Kaiser Permanente are among the corporate giants that have invested in the Bloom Box energy cell technology. A Bloom Box is literally a power plant in a box that uses next generation fuel cell technology to generate electricity.
Bloom Boxes don’t come cheap; each one costs around $800,000, but these companies are willing to invest in them. The companies claim they are going green or reducing pollution by purchasing such technology. What they’re also doing is ensuring that they can stay open when the electric grid goes down.
The interest in the Bloom Box indicates that these companies’ executives think that the electric grid is not dependable. Wal-Mart and Safeway want to keep their refrigerators and their cash registers running. Google wants to keep providing Internet even if the lights go out.
Companies Embracing Solar, Too
The Bloom Box is only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to corporate efforts to have dependable power. IKEA has purchased 500,000 solar panels as part of an effort to produce 70 percent of its own electricity.
Walmart plans to put solar panels on 75 percent of its stores in California, a state with a notoriously unreliable electric grid. The company has made a deal with Elon Musk’s company Solar City to buy the panels.
Walmart claims it is motivated by concern for the environment, but we all know that the real “green” Walmart is interested in is money. The businesspeople that run Walmart wouldn’t be making a major investment in “alternative energy” if they didn’t think they might need it.
Grid Is No Longer Reliable
It is easy to see why corporations are looking into alternatives.
The Washington Post reported that the electric grid is pricier and less reliable. The number of power outages that affected more than 500,000 people in the United States more than doubled between 2004 and 2009, The Post’s Wonkblog noted.
The length of blackouts has also increased by around 20 percent in the last decade, Off The Grid News previously reported. Large companies simply can no longer afford to depend on the grid, so they are investing in the resources needed to generate their own power.
In August, the American Society of Civil Engineers graded America’s power grid a D+, Off The Grid News reported. The rating means the energy infrastructure is in “poor to fair condition and mostly below standard, with many elements approaching the end of their service life.” It further means a “large portion of the system exhibits significant deterioration” with a “strong risk of failure.”
Learn from Walmart and Google
Families and individuals need to consider generating their own electricity for their homes and small businesses. Whether you are a freelancer who depends on a computer or the operator of a small machine shop, you need electricity. Big business’s investment in alternate technologies indicates the grid may no longer be a reliable source of electricity.
Every family and small business owner needs to start looking into solar panels, fuel cells, wind technology, and other means of generating electricity. That way they can keep operating if and when the grid goes down, just like Walmart and Google intend to do. Self-sufficiency in electricity is no longer just green; it is now imperative for economic survival.