The biggest billion-dollar energy unicorn left standing
This summer one of IKEA’s two retail stores in the San Francisco area will start producing electricity from biogas after it installs a fuel-cell system manufactured by Bloom Energy. For IKEA, Bloom’s fuel cells will help offset carbon dioxide emissions and contribute to the global home-furnishings chain’s 2020 goal of being energy-independent. For Bloom Energy, IKEA’s installation of its fuel-cell technology marks yet another point of growth for the cleantech company, whose list of big-name customers also includes eBay, Google, Adobe, Coca-Cola, Apple and more than 60 others.
Launched in 2001, the fuel-cell company headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, makes solid-oxide fuel cells that convert natural gas or methane into electricity. Bloom Energy (ranked No.3 on CNBC’s Disruptor 2015 list), then installs stacked units of these fuel cells—known as Bloom Boxes or energy servers—in customer locations, signing long-term contracts with customers to generate continuous electricity, at the point of consumption, with lower carbon dioxide emissions.