Stationary Fuel Cells

Fuel Cells for Micro-Combined Heat and Power, Prime Power,
Large Combined Heat and Power, and Uninterruptible Power Supply Applications

The market for stationary fuel cells is transitioning toward maturity and wider adoption, buoyed by improving economics, government support, and growing demand for resilient, dispatchable power. In recent years, promises of imminent profitability and mass adoption have inspired optimism, though results have often fallen short of what the hype might suggest. Claims of earthshaking breakthroughs are giving way to persistent cost declines, product improvements, and business model innovations. These are making fuel cells viable in a growing range of markets and opening new opportunities for stakeholders that are prepared for the transition.

Stationary fuel cells are becoming commercially established. Over 150,000 micro-combined heat and power (MCHP) units have been installed in Japan, where prices have fallen under the successful ENE-FARM subsidy. In the United States and South Korea, major energy players like Apple, Constellation Energy, and POSCO Energy have invested millions in fuel cell projects. Large global conglomerates are entering the market, too; GE, Doosan, and LG have each made significant investments and expect to realize returns in the medium term. Meanwhile, strong policy support in Japan and South Korea will drive broad adoption, as it will in other advanced economies in North America and Europe. According to Navigant Research, annual installed stationary fuel cell capacity is expected to grow worldwide from 262.6 MW in 2016 to 3,069.5 MW in 2025.

This Navigant Research report analyzes the global market for stationary fuel cells for MCHP, prime power, large CHP, and uninterruptible power supply (UPS) applications. The study provides an analysis of key market and technology developments related to stationary fuel cells and covers proton exchange membrane, solid oxide, molten carbonate, phosphoric acid, alkaline, and direct methane fuel cells. Global forecasts for capacity and revenue, segmented by technology, application, and region, extend through 2025. The report also profiles the key players that are active in the global stationary fuel cell industry.

Key Questions Addressed:
  • What new revenue opportunities exist for stationary fuel cells?
  • How is governmental policy shaping the stationary fuel cell industry?
  • How will stationary fuel cells compete or cooperate with technologies like solar and wind?
  • What new business models are expected in the stationary fuel cell industry?
  • What drives customer decisions to choose stationary fuel cells?
  • What macroeconomic trends are most likely to shape the stationary fuel cell industry?
Who needs this report?
  • Stationary fuel cell system manufacturers
  • Stationary fuel cell stack manufacturers
  • Energy developers
  • Energy retailers
  • Energy wholesalers
  • Utilities and grid operators
  • Industry associations
  • Investor community

Table of Contents

1. Executive Summary

1.1  Overview

1.2  Market Drivers

1.3  Market Challenges

1.4  Market Forecasts

2. Market Issues

2.1  Key Drivers for Stationary Fuel Cell Adoption

2.1.1  Growing Demand for Distributed Energy Resources

2.1.2  Improving Economics of Onsite Fuel Cell Generation

2.1.2.1  Fuel Cell Capital Cost Declines

2.1.2.2  Natural Gas Price Declines

2.1.2.3  Grid Electricity Price Increases

2.1.3  Increased Demand for Resilient Baseload Power

2.1.3.1  Demand for Continuous Power During Outages

2.1.3.2  Demand for Continuous Power Generally on the Future Grid

2.1.4  Regulatory Drivers

2.1.4.1  United States: A Slight Decline in Historically Solid Support

2.1.4.2  Japan: Dedicated to Fuel Cells, Especially Micro-Combined Heat and Power

2.1.4.3  South Korea: Policy Leader Encourages Large-Scale Systems

2.1.4.4  Europe: Early-Stage Market with Aggressive Goals

2.1.4.4.1.  Germany: Leading the European Charge

2.1.5  National Metrics

2.1.6  Demand for Dense Onsite Generation

3. Technology Issues

3.1  Introduction

3.2  Fuel Cell Applications and Technologies

3.3  Curtailment and the Importance of Dispatchable Resources

3.4  Cost Structure and Learning Rates

3.5  Materials Innovations

4. Key Industry Players

4.1  Introduction

4.2  North America

4.2.1  Altergy Systems

4.2.2  Ballard Power Systems

4.2.3  Bloom Energy

4.2.4  Doosan Fuel Cell America

4.2.5  Fuel Cell Energy

4.2.6  Hydrogenics

4.2.7  Plug Power

4.3  Europe

4.3.1  AFC Energy

4.3.2  Intelligent Energy

4.3.3  SOLIDPower

4.4  Asia Pacific

4.4.1  Aisin Seiki Co, Ltd.

4.4.2  Panasonic

4.4.3  POSCO Energy

4.4.4  Toshiba Fuel Cell Power Systems Corp.

4.5  Other Industry Participants

5. Market Forecasts

5.1  Stationary Fuel Cell Forecast Overview

5.1.1  Global Capacity by Country

5.1.2  Global Capacity by Technology

5.1.3  Capacity Forecast by Segment

5.1.3.1  MCHP

5.1.3.2  Prime Power

5.1.3.3  Large CHP

5.1.3.4  UPS

5.2  Conclusions and Recommendations

6. Acronym and Abbreviation List
7. Table of Contents
8. Table of Charts and Figures
9. Scope of Study, Sources and Methodology, Notes

List of Charts and Figures

  • US Patents Filed for Fuel Cells and Other Clean Technologies: 1Q 2002-3Q 2015
  • Renewable Energy Curtailment Scenario
  • Energy Storage Technology Comparison
  • Renewable Energy Curtailment with Flexible Gas Generation
  • Forecast Cost Declines with Scale in European MCHP Market
  • Forecast Cost Declines with Scale in Japanese MCHP Market
  • Annual Installed Stationary Fuel Cell Capacity and Revenue by Region, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • DER Capacity Installments as a Percentage of New Centralized Generation, Regional  Averages, World Markets: 2015-2024
  • Spot Price of Natural Gas by Market, World Markets: 2001-2016
  • Price of Electricity by Market, Developed World: 2001-2015
  • Grid Disturbances, Demand Loss, and Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters, United States: 2000-2016
  • Energy and Power Density by Technology: Daily Delivered Energy (MWh) in 1-Acre Footprint, North America: 2016
  • Molten Carbonate and Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells, Unsubsidized Price and Capacity, Japan and United States: Select Years
  • Payback Acceptance Curves
  • Distributed Generation Bass Diffusion Curve
  • Cumulative Installed Stationary Fuel Cell Capacity by Country, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Installed Stationary Fuel Cell Capacity by Technology, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Installed MCHP Fuel Cell Capacity by Region, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Installed Prime Power Fuel Cell Capacity by Region, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Installed Large CHP Fuel Cell Capacity by Region, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Installed UPS Fuel Cell Capacity by Region, World Markets: 2016-2025

List of Tables

  • Selected Statistics, Selected Countries
  • Overview of Fuel Cell Chemistries
  • Selected Data on 19 Other Top Industry Participants
  • Annual Stationary Fuel Cell Capacity by Region and Country, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Stationary Fuel Cell Revenue by Region and Country, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Selected Statistics, Selected Countries
  • Navigant Research Stability Ratings
  • Price of Electricity by Market, Developed World: 2001-2015
  • Spot Price of Natural Gas by Market*, World Markets: 2001-2016
  • Electric Utility Capital Expenses by Function, Investor-Owned Utilities, United States: 2013 and 2015
  • DG Technology Comparison: Power and Energy Delivery in a 1-Acre Footprint, North America: 2016
  • DER Capacity Installments as a Percentage of New Centralized Generation, Regional Averages, World Markets: 2015-2024
  • Annual Installed Stationary Fuel Cell Capacity by Technology, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Installed MCHP Fuel Cell Capacity by Region, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Installed Prime Power Fuel Cell Capacity by Region, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Installed Large CHP Fuel Cell Capacity by Region, World Markets: 2016-2025
  • Annual Installed UPS Fuel Cell Capacity by Region, World Markets: 2016-2025

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