Bloom Energy, a Silicon Valley-based provider of breakthrough solid oxide fuel cell technology which produces clean, reliable and affordable onsite power, has roped in Girish Paranjpe, former joint CEO of Wipro, India’s third biggest software exporter. Paranjpe has joined as the Managing Director of Bloom Energy International and will report to KR Sridhar, principal co-founder and CEO of Bloom Energy, the energy storage company said in a statement.
As part of his role, Paranjpe will be responsible for developing the global market for Bloom Energy. He will also focus on creating new solutions around the Bloom Energy Server and the flagship Bloom Electrons’ offering. In an effort to ensure that clean energy reaches millions around the world, Paranjpe will lead Bloom Energy’s initiative to partner with energy industry innovators, as well as leading solution and infrastructure providers.
Because of its compact fuel cells which can generate electricity with low carbon emissions, Bloom Energy is one of the most hyped companies among Silicon Valley’s growing roster of green start-ups. The new company, with more than $100 million in funding from Credit Suisse Group and Silicon Valley Bank, receives federal grants for up to 30 per cent of what it spends on the fuel cells.
Founded by Indian-born KR Sridhar, a former director at NASA, Bloom Energy offers modular electricity generating boxes which convert fuel cells into electricity. Globally, eBay and Google are among some of the high profile customers already using Bloom Boxes. Now, the company plans to tap into newer markets and increase its footprint.
Announcing Paranjpe’s appointment, KR Sridhar said, “We are extremely happy to have Girish on board. Bloom Energy today is at an inflection point, having developed and proven the technology in California. It is now time to expand our markets. Girish will help us start the journey of taking the promise of Bloom’s technology to the global marketplace. I am confident that Girish will build a strong worldwide organisation that will make a significant impact on distributed generation solutions.”
Commenting on his new role, Girish Paranjpe said, “The opportunity with Bloom is quite exciting for multiple reasons. Bloom’s ability to generate clean, reliable and affordable baseload power is unique, and its technology will have a far-reaching impact for businesses and society. Throughout the world, both developed and emerging countries are looking for breakthrough alternatives to fulfil growing electricity needs. Bloom is at the cusp of a new beginning and there is an opportunity for me to do something significant, similar to what I did as part of the IT industry. Initially, we will enter a select few geographies, yet to be finalised, which have the following key attributes – unmet customer needs, the right policy environment, support for the right infrastructure and strategic like-minded domestic partners.”
Prior to joining Bloom Energy International, Paranjpe was the co-CEO of Wipro’s IT business and was an executive director on the board of Wipro Ltd. He jointly carried the responsibility for strategy and operations at Wipro’s IT business. Paranjpe also represented Wipro and the IT industry in various public forums including the prime minister’s task force on information technology, NASSCOM and at leading global business schools.
On January 20, Bloom announced a new payment option which would help it generate power at competitive prices on a large scale. A programme called Bloom Electrons offers 10-year contracts for metered electricity at 5 per cent to 20 per cent below the grid rate in California. Before Bloom’s new payment method, customers had to pay $700,000-plus for a unit which provides 100 KW of electricity (about what 100 US homes may use). Founded in 2001, Bloom Energy is headquartered in Sunnyvale, California, and claims that it is changing the way the world generates and consumes energy.