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Worldwide Revenue from Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Will Reach $785 Million in 2012

As the fuel cell industry makes the transition from the R&D stage to full commercialization, breakout applications are continuing to emerge and business models and market structures are evolving rapidly.  Overall, the industry continues to expand, and the total size of the global market – including revenues from fuel cells and from hydrogen for fuel cells and internal combustion engines (ICEs) – will reach $785 million in 2012, according to a new white paper from Pike Research.

One key market that is taking shape is the use of fuel cells for residential combined heat and power (resCHP) applications, a market that is experiencing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 67.7%.  Meanwhile, Pike Research expects that remote sensing will be the breakout market for small fuel cells in 2012, as they are well-suited for applications including dam monitoring, seismic monitoring, wildlife monitoring, weather stations, and others.  However, other sectors do not look so promising, according to Pike Research’s analysis – one example is the portable fuel cell market, particularly for consumer electronics applications, which the firm anticipates will suffer disappointment in 2012 after a recent renewal of the hype in this sector.  The white paper, which includes 10 predictions about the fuel cell market in 2012, is available for free download on Pike Research’s website.

“The fuel cell and hydrogen industries are once again entering a year of growth, as seen in the revenue projections for the first time surpassing three-quarters of a billion dollars, but market participants also face significant challenges,” says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson.  “As well as growth in the current markets, we are also starting to see new markets emerging – including, in 2012, the remote sensing sector, with increasing demand for fit-for-purpose products from the fuel cell industry.” Continue reading

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Early Fuel Cell Activity Is Creating New Markets for Hydrogen

While hydrogen is widely used for its chemical properties in a range of industrial applications, its use as a fuel is still a niche market.  To date the largest demand for hydrogen as a fuel has come from the United States space program.  Now, however, fuel cells that use direct hydrogen are opening up new markets for hydrogen suppliers – ones with potentially high demand if some key applications take off.  Those key applications include light duty vehicles, forklifts, buses, stationary power, and scooters.  According to a new report from Pike Research, projected demand for hydrogen as a fuel will be around 107 million kilograms (kg) through 2015, with annual demand reaching 418 million kg in 2020.  While forklifts and backup power applications will drive demand in the first half of the decade, light-duty fuel cell vehicles will create significant new demand starting 2015, the cleantech market intelligence firm finds.

“Fuel cells are actually being put into service in large numbers today, and it’s not only about the cars,” says senior analyst Lisa Jerram.  “These different fuel cell markets present different infrastructure buildout pathways, with varying opportunities and challenges.  Stationary fuel cells, for example, offer a very different infrastructure story than vehicles.” Continue reading

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