The fuel cell market is poised for rapid growth over the next decade, driven by the increasing acceptance of distributed generation technology, the need for grid resiliency and increased financing options. Stationary fuel cells, in particular, lead the pack, representing more than 70 per cent of global fuel cell revenue at the beginning of 2014, according to Navigant Research, and show little sign of stopping. As a result, the use of fuel cells as small distributed power plants for grid stabilization or backup is moving forward faster than any other sector in terms of megawatts.
"The stationary fuel cell sector is in a very vibrant phase, with a range of companies coming forward with product announcements, planned launches, and aspirational targets," said Mackinnon Lawrence, research director with Navigant Research. "The increased focus on grid resiliency and the overwhelming costs associated with natural disasters are driving rapid growth in demand for the use of fuel cells as small distributed power plants for grid stabilization and backup."
Stationary fuel cell applications can include prime power, large combined heat and power (CHP), residential CHP (resCHP), and uninterruptible power supply (UPS). The resCHP segment is expected to surpass the $1 billion mark in annual revenue this year, according to the research, and will remain the largest single application for stationary fuel cells through 2022.
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