USA: While growing in terms of megawatts and systems shipped, the market for stationary fuel cells is also going through a period of deep restructuring, with a number of companies exiting the space and a handful of new entrants appearing.
Over the last year, the sector has seen a sharp increase in market demand created by government policy initiatives. According to a recent report from Navigant Research, annual revenue from stationary fuel cells will grow from $1.7 billion in 2013 to $9 billion in 2022.
“Stationary fuel cells are still in the early part of the adoption cycle, with limited availability and affordability,” says Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director with Navigant Research. “During the last year, however, companies have moved to create products for markets where real needs exist—in many cases producing systems that use locally available fuels, can be maintained by local engineers, and do not require very limited operating temperature ranges. This growing realism will enable the industry to create a secure foundation for future growth.”
One key factor driving growth in the stationary fuel cell sector is falling costs, according to the report. Through a combination of re-engineering systems and high-volume, high-quality manufacturing, some leading companies have achieved up to 60 percent cost reductions over the last decade. Nevertheless, stationary fuel cell costs, particularly for polymer electrolyte membrane fuel cells, are still very high compared to many incumbent technologies.