FuelCell Energy and UTC Power Score Highest in New Pike Research Assessment of Prime Power Fuel Cell Vendors

July 11, 2011

The stationary fuel cell prime power market is experiencing rapid growth.  With an increasing number of companies offering commercial products to the non-residential market, commercial adopters are demonstrating increased interest.  The residential market is only a matter of months behind.  According to a new Pike Pulse report published by Pike Research, two prime power fuel cell vendors are the best positioned in the early stages of this market:  FuelCell Energy and UTC Power.

“The prime power fuel cell market is in a fluid, vibrant phase of market growth,” says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson.  “In the midst of this critical stage of development, we are seeing some new market trends appearing.  These include the ‘electrons or hardware’ business model where adopters lease or buy the stationary fuel cell prime power unit.  The benefits of both vary depending on the adopter and, interestingly, the country in which the company is operating.  In terms of geography, we have seen some companies developing a single country specific product, for example in the Japanese residential market.  So although a company may be leading today, in terms of deployment, looking forward it could face significant barriers to entry for its product in other regions.”

Adamson adds that FuelCell Energy attained the highest overall score in the Pike Pulse report due to a combination of a clear go-to-market strategy, geographic reach, and partnerships, coupled with its cost-down systems and mass manufacturing.  In this market, where high-quality, high-volume manufacturing is not the norm, Adamson says that FuelCell Energy’s ability to ramp up manufacturing based on market demand gives it a clear edge. 

UTC Power is the runner-up and is assessed as second in both Strategy and Execution.  The highest-ranking residential prime power fuel cell manufacturer in the study is ClearEdge Power, with Ceramic Fuel Cells only one point behind.

The “Pike Pulse Report: Prime Power Fuel Cells” evaluates 15 of the leading prime power station fuel cell developers and rates them on 12 criteria for strategy and execution, including go-to-market strategy, product portfolio, partnerships, innovation, reach, market share, pricing, and staying power.  Using Pike Research’s proprietary Pike Pulse methodology, developers are profiled, rated, and ranked with the goal of providing industry participants with an objective assessment of these companies’ relative strengths and weaknesses in the rapidly growing prime power stationary fuel cell market.  An Executive Summary of the report is available for free download on the firm’s website.

Pike Research is a market research and consulting firm that provides in-depth analysis of global clean technology markets.  The company’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Grid, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors.  For more information, visit www.navigantresearch.com or call +1.303.997.7609.

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