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Top 10 trends for the fuel cell industry in 2013

Around this time of year everyone and their dog does a review of the year just gone, or a preview for the year to come, often in the form of a ‘Top 10’.

Even so, it’s interesting to see what analysts at Pike Research highlight in a white paper that identifies the 10 most notable and important trends for the next 12 months in the fuel cell and hydrogen industries.

Last year saw widespread restructuring in these industries, increased rollouts of new business models, a sharp increase in sales and interest in the residential combined heat and power (CHP) segment, and overall global revenues of more than US$1 billion.

Building on such a dynamic year, the white paper – written by respected analysts Kerry-Ann Adamson and Lisa Jerram, who really know their stuff – focuses on capacity and revenue generation, the evolution of business models, and the maturation of the key companies within the sector.

For example, they see annual installed capacity in the stationary fuel cell sector exceeding 200 MW, attributing the sharp increase in market demand to supportive government policies around the world.

In addition, independent power producer (IPP) and energy service company (ESCO) partnerships with utilities will increase, and the strongest shipment increases will occur with islanding-capable systems, i.e. fuel cell systems that are combined with energy storage.

In the mobile sector, the pace of funding for hydrogen refuelling stations will accelerate in Europe and Asia-Pacific in particular, although mass-market penetration for fuel cell electric vehicles will remain low for a while yet (but fuel cell cars are still on target for 2015).

Likewise, progress in the portable fuel cell sector will remain slow.

The good news is that an increasing number of companies will nudge towards overall profitability, while global revenue from the fuel cell sector will exceed $2 billion, double that for 2012.

Helpfully, private equity and corporate investments from Russia, South Africa, and Asia-Pacific are on the rise. And platinum and palladium shipments into the fuel cell industry will increase – the latter metal is expected to benefit Russian companies such as Norilsk Nickel as they seek out new high-volume markets for it.

The white paper is free to download, although you do need to register.

Posted 30/01/2013 by Steve Barrett

Tagged under: fuel cell , fuel cells , hydrogen , hydrogen energy , hydrogen fuelling , hydrogen infrastructure , fuel cell vehicles , platinum , palladium , energy storage

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