Price Reductions Leading to Accelerating Adoption of Fuel Cells

In 2009, Japan began offering commercial solutions for residential combined heat and power (resCHP) fuel cells with its ENE-FARM project.  Korea has followed suit with hundreds of test trials for its Residential CHPs Monitoring Project.  Meanwhile, China has been driving research and innovation in fuel cell technology through government, academic, and enterprise initiatives, focusing, for the most part, on fuel cell transportation.  Although their programs are primarily aimed at meeting increased demand for residential energy and complying with national policies for a greener society, providers in these countries also hope to become the global leaders in this arena – both in terms of technology development and price.  According to a recent report from Pike Research, prices for fuel cell-based systems, across a range of applications, are expected to decline significantly in the next few years, removing a critical barrier to adoption.

The cleantech market intelligence firm forecasts that the market for fuel cells in Asia Pacific will reach $6.7 billion by 2017, up from just $52.8 million in 2011.

“To date, the majority of fuel cell technology development for residences in Asia Pacific has centered on resCHP,” says senior analyst Andy Bae.  “The Japanese fuel cell players are already in the commercial phase, and Korean providers also have concrete market entry plans to commercialize resCHP and off-grid power plants.  Prices have been declining steadily, and manufacturers’ pricing strategies are expected to result in further decreases.”

While stationary fuel cells represent the largest segment for the fuel cell market in the region, fuel cell vehicles and fuel cells for portable power applications – particularly consumer electronics – hold strong potential as well.  Interest in fuel cell vehicles from government and industry players, including automobile component makers, in Japan, Korea, and China is strong and growing.  Auto OEMs and governments have coalesced around 2015 as the date for the first commercial fuel cell vehicles to reach the market.  Consequently, 2012-2015 will be an important period for those looking to develop leadership in the sector.

Pike Research’s report, “Fuel Cells in Asia Pacific”, provides insight into fuel cell industry dynamics, market trends, and technology innovations for three main sectors:  stationary fuel cells, fuel cell vehicles, and fuel cells for portable power applications in the Asia Pacific region, concentrating on China, Japan, and Korea.  Market forecasts through 2017 are included for unit shipments and revenue, segmented by key countries and application areas.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’swebsite.

Contact: Richard Martin

+1 303 997 7609

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