North American fuel cell market revenue is estimated to reach $667.7 million by 2018. Major factors responsible for the growth of the fuel cell market include the ability of fuel cells in stationary, portable and transportation applications, according to Research and Markets’ “North American Market for Fuel Cell Technology – Trends and Forecast to 2018.” The overall stationary market is expected to grow to $443.7 million by 2018, with a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 30.6 percent from 2013 to 2018.
In terms of geographical contribution, the US will have the biggest market – around 80 percent of the entire North American market worth $352.7 million, followed by Canada at $91 million by 2018.
The key concerns in the industry pertain to the high cost of catalyst, commercialization of fuel cells and establishment of fuel cell infrastructure.
Ballard (Canada), Plug Power (US), FuelCell Energy (US), Oorja Fuel Cells (US), and Hydrogenics (US) are the major players, constituting the majority of the market share in North America. Most of these companies rely on growth strategies such as agreements and contracts, joint ventures and collaborations, mergers and acquisitions, and expansions in diversified geographic areas. The growing demand for technologically advanced clean energy solutions has prompted most of the companies to launch highly innovative and integrated fuel cell solutions.
Major fuel cell type/technologies include Polymer/Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM), Direct Methanol, Phosphoric Acid, Solid Oxide and Molten Carbonate. PEM is the largest type in terms of revenue generation.
This month, the Department of Energy announced up to $30 million in Advanced Research Projects Agency – Energy (ARPA-E) funding for a new program focused on the development of transformational electrochemical technologies to enable low-cost distributed power generation.