The EU has decided to continue subsidizing fuel cell heating systems. The Fuel Cells and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking (FCH JU) announced that on June 1, 2016, the European Union launched the PACE project (Pathway to a Competitive European FC mCHP market) with incentives worth EUR 34 million. Its aim is to have more than 2,650 micro-CHP systems installed at non-field test customers by February 2021 to support market ramp-up. At the same time, a monitoring project should provide the feedback needed to enhance any further developments. The program with an overall cost of EUR 90 million is thought to give manufacturers the opportunity to set up their lines for mass production and automate manufacturing, in order to save equipment costs. It makes PACE the successor to ene.field, which has also been coordinated by COGEN Europe, but will run out after five years in August 2016.
As a consequence, four of the leading European manufacturers (Bosch, SOLIDpower, Vaillant and Viessmann) have pledged to increase their production capacities by 2018 to more than 1,000 units per year. Each of them will set up more than 500 units as part of the PACE program.