Fuel Cell Capacity Ready for Growth Explosion

Global fuel cell energy generating capacity will increase to near 16,000 MW by 2012 from 45 MW in 2002.

Oyster Bay, New York – August 2, 2002 [SolarAccess.com] Although there is still only one true commercial stationary fuel cell product in the marketplace, the competition level has increased dramatically in the last year according to the latest study from Allied Business Intelligence (ABI). A key trend in the stationary fuel cell industry has been the shift from research and development to the establishment of manufacturing plants, according to ABI’s findings in the new study, “Global Stationary Fuel Cell Markets- A Detailed Analysis of an Emerging Industry.” “The heightened level of competition has been forcing companies in the field toward introducing meaningful early commercial products into niche markets,” said Atakan Ozbek, ABI’s Director of Energy Research and report author. The study findings show early adopter markets such as wastewater treatment plants, telecommunication back up centers and data centers will be the first markets that will see stationary fuel cell products deployed. “Fuel cell companies have started to learn to “under promise and over deliver” due to increased pressure from the financial markets, with greater competitive concerns forcing them to keep a low profile until they deliver the units,” said Ozbek. “Plug Power is a good example of this approach. ABI sees this new approach as an instrumental part of the learning curve for the industry, which will pay long-term dividends.” ABI’s study identifies early potential opportunities for markets that can see deployment from 50 watts to 30 MW in the US and worldwide. While the US market will take the early lead, Germany and Japan are the other two key markets that will realize early deployments. The study also notes that quality power and industrial power supply markets are expected to see higher growth rates than residential markets. Industrial markets have already started to embrace fuel cell power systems, with the largest growth potential specifically in the small to medium sized industrial markets.
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