Global Fuel Cells Market: Snapshot
Fuel cells are electrochemical devices that have soared in popularity as a clean source of electric energy over the past decade. Forming an excellent source of alternative green energy technology, they are inherently more efficient than most other combustion engines. Fuel cells are used in a variety of applications such as submarines, vehicles, combined heat and power (CHP) systems, uninterrupted power supply systems (UPS), military power units, and various electric appliances. The demand for fuel cell technology is fast emerging as a source of heating in commercial buildings, since it supplies emission-free power.
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The market for fuel cells is evolving with the spiraling demand for numerous stationary applications of fuel cells and also gradually replacing conventional batteries in some facilities. In the coming years, proton exchange membrane fuel cells and hydrogen fuel cells are expected to gain prominence for providing uninterrupted power supply in various end-use industries. Prominent portable applications are consumer electronics including laptops, tablets, cameras, and smartphones. As several large car makers are tweaking the potential of hydrogen fuel cells to suit power cars, the share of transportation and automotive industries in the market is also projected to rise.
In terms of revenue, the global market for fuel cells was valued at US$ 3.59 Bn in 2015 and is projected to attain a valuation of US$ 27.25 Bn by the end of the forecast period. During the same period, the market is projected to rise at a 23.64% CAGR.
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Asia Pacific to Offer Lucrative Market Avenues in Coming Years
Based on geography, the fuel cells market is segmented into North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and Rest of the World (RoW). Of these, the Asia Pacific market accounted for a significant market share of 59.94% in the fuel cells market in 2015. The regional market is expected to rise at an impressive CAGR over the forecast period. The steady growth will be driven by accelerated adoption of green energy technology, reducing reliance on fossil fuels, and spiraling electricity demand attributable to a burgeoning population in various countries. In addition, the swift pace of industrialization is expected to fuel the demand for fuel cells in numerous industrial applications. Furthermore, stringent government mandates to minimize carbon emissions, coupled with the demand for eco-friendly technologies, will catalyze the growth of the regional market.
The Asia Pacific market is followed by the North America market where a major percentage of demand for fuel cells comes from the U.S. The increasing adoption of emerging fuel cell technologies for generation of electricity and the use of fuel cells in UPS are expected to propel the regional market along the forecast period.
Upsurge in Stationary Applications of Fuel Cells to Accentuate Market Growth
The major types of fuel cells are direct methanol fuel cells (DMFC), proton exchange membrane fuel cells (PEMFC), and solid oxide fuel cells (SOFC). Of these, PEMFC segment held the significant market share in 2015. The substantial growth of the market for PEMFC is expected to be driven by increasing applications in the transport industry to power cars and buses and constant technological advancements aimed to increase the efficiency of these fuel cells. Furthermore, this technology is considered to be the preferred choice for several small-scale residential applications
Based on application, the fuel cells market is segmented into stationary, portable, and transport. Currently, the stationary application of fuel cells is the leading segment. Other applications are also expected to witness significant technological investments in R&D activities by major players.
Some of the top companies operating in this market are Ballard Power Systems Inc., AFC Energy PLC, Doosan Fuel Cell America, Inc., Hydrogenics Corporation, Panasonic Corporation, Plug Power, Inc., Toshiba Corporation., Nedstack, and SFC Energy AG.