Global Fuel Cell Market - Analysis of Growth, Trends and Forecasts (2018 - 2023)
The fuel cell market has been growing steadily over the past three years. In 2017, the fuel cell market was where the solar cell market was in 2002. Solar is one of the fastest growing sectors in the world, and both solar and fuel cells are clean energy solutions. In 2016, the number of fuel cells shipped worldwide was 62,000, an increase of 2,000 from 2015 level. More significantly, the total MW shipped grew significantly from 300 MW in 2015 to 500 MW in 2016. In 2017, it was estimated that the megawatt shipped rose to more than 650 MW. Recent growth has been driven by the proton exchange membrane fuel cell, accounting for almost three-fourths of the total megawatt shipped. Rising number of hydrogen infrastructures are driving the demand for fuel cell in vehicle.
Transportation Sector - Driving the Market
The largest increase – nearly triple in total MWs of fuel cell shipped worldwide, occurred in the transportation sector between 2014 and 2016. The growth in demand is due to the introduction and expansion of fuel cell light-duty vehicles from Korea and Japan to new regions around the world. Other transportation applications, such as buses and material handling, also contributed to the increase in total MW shipped.
In 2016, China emerged as the leading customer for fuel cell buses, with more than 30 either ordered or deployed throughout the year. The country is further planning to build anywhere between 5-10 hydrogen stations, and aims to deploy 3,000 fuel cell buses and vehicles by 2020. Similarly, Japan is planning to deploy 40,000 fuel cell vehicles on the road by 2020, and increase its refueling station from about 80 in 2016 to 160 by 2020, and 900 by 2030.
Asia-Pacific - Fastest Growing and Largest Market
Asia-Pacific is the fastest growing and the largest market for fuel cell. In 2014 and 2015, North America was the largest market, while in 2016, Asia-Pacific became the largest due to the addition of more than 200 MW of fuel cell compared to the 2015 level. In 2014, Asia-Pacific had around 40 MW of fuel cell, and in 2016 the region had more than 300 MW. The growth is attributed to increasing demand for fuel cell electric vehicles in Japan and South Korea. The North American market is growing steadily while Europe still has not gained the momentum.
Steady Increase in Demand for Stationery Fuel Cell in South Korea
Key US fuel cell manufacturers, Doosan Fuel Cell America Inc., FuelCell Energy Inc., and Bloom Energy, announced collective sales, installations, and agreement for around 100 MW of fuel cell systems in 2016. More than half of these fuel cell (75 MW) was shipped to South Korea to produce power for the electric grid. Several large stationery projects have been announced around the world in the past two years, including a 50 MW fuel cell project planned by the Korea Power Electric Corp. South Korea has number utility-scale fuel cell parks in operation, including the world’s largest, which generates 59 MW of power for the electric grid and supplies a district heating system. The country is struggling to modernize and diversify its power sector in the past few years. Stationary fuel cell is gaining momentum in South Korea and is expected to drive the demand for fuel cell in the coming future.
Key Developments in the market