This report analyzes and estimates the demand for fuel cells in the global scenario. The fuel cell market is segmented on the basis of application, type, fuel and geography. Regional and product-based market data is given in terms of both volumes and revenues for the period from 2010 to 2018.
Albany, NY -- (SBWIRE) -- 01/29/2016 -- Fuel cells are electro-chemical devices that transform chemical energy into heat and electricity by the oxidation of fuel (hydrogen, natural gas and methanol) contained in the fuel cell. The only by-products are water and a small amount of nitrous oxide which makes fuel-cells an eco-friendly, safe, and sustainable power source. Fuel cells usually comprise of electrodes and electrolytes between which the oxidation reaction takes place. The heat and electricity generated from fuel cells is utilized in various industries for different applications. Fuel cells are not thermal energy based and generate the power using hydrogen as a basic ingredient. Hydrocarbon fuels such as methanol, natural gas and ethanol are also used in extracting hydrogen during the reformation procedure.
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Fuel cells analyzed in this study include MCFC (Molten Carbonate Fuel Cell), PEMFC (Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell), AFC (Alkaline Fuel Cells), DMFC (Direct Methanol Fuel Cell), SOFC (Solid Oxide Fuel Cell) and PAFC (Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell). In terms of applications, the market has been segmented into stationary (heat and power systems, backup power systems and uninterruptible power supply systems), transportation (light vehicles, heavy vehicles, specialty vehicles - forklifts and auxiliary power units) and portable (consumer electronics, remote monitoring and external battery chargers).
By fuel, hydrogen covers the majority of fuel cells market and is expected to continue its dominance in 2018. Natural gas and methanol also cover a significant share in overall fuel cell market. In terms of application, a shifting trend towards stationary fuel cells is expected over the next five years. In terms of power volume (MW), stationary and transportation fuel cells market is expected to grow at a CAGR of 24.4% and 15.4% respectively from 2013 to 2018.
Increase in government support and strict regulations followed by several governments are boosting the market for fuel cells. High energy density and better backup power systems as compared to other batteries are also helping in enhancing the fuel cells market. Lack of infrastructure in terms of number of refueling stations and high initial investment are a few restraining factors for this market. At present, platinum is mainly used as a catalyst for fuel cell operation that is very expensive (around $1800 per ounce) and thereby increases the final cost of the fuel cell. Hydrogen which is used as a fuel in fuel cells is extracted by electrolysis process which is an expensive process and thereby increases the overall cost of fuel cell manufacturing.
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Key participants in the fuel cells market include Fuel Cell Energy, Ballard, Clearedge, Toshiba, Panasonic, Plug Power Inc. and Hydrogenics Corporation.
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