In November 2016, E4tech published data and analyses on the fuel cell industry in its latest edition of Fuel Cell Industry Review. Since 2014, it has contacted businesses in the industry and aggregated their shipment figures to capture the most recent market developments. The following sections will present some excerpts from this review and explain the changes to the preliminary 2016 figures published last November.
Japan remains fully committed to integrating hydrogen into its national energy mix, and is looking to Europe and to a lesser extent the U.S. for markets and research support. Developers f residential fuel cell systems have all found European partners to bid for FCH-JU funding. And Japan’s Toyota has quietly led an international effort to engage corporations
The RD&D activities of the industry and the public sector have successfully established a global market for hydrogen and fuel cells. There is growing consensus about the importance of these clean energy carriers in transportation and several manufacturing segments. Countries such as Germany, Japan and the United States – and organizations such as the European Commission – have been spearheading efforts in research, development and demonstration technologically and politically to show how sustainable and reliable these resources really are.
The 22nd World Hydrogen Energy Conference will take place next year in Brazil – with the help of a German business. Co-organizer of the WHEC 2018 held under the auspices of the International Association for Hydrogen Energy is reported to be Peter Sauber Agentur Messen und Kongresse. The hosts in Rio de Janeiro from June 17 through 22 will be the Laboratório de Hidrogênio, or Lab H2 for short, and the Instituto Alberto Luiz Coimbra de Pós-Graduação e Pesquisa de Engenharia, or COPPE UFRJ.
There has been quite an interest in energy storage recently. And as ever more power-to-gas systems have been popping up all over Germany, project planners are increasingly turning their attention to the key elements found on-site: electrolyzers. These electrochemical units to create hydrogen have been around for a long time.
Last November, H2-international published a first market overview of residential fuel cell systems. This time, we will take a closer look at electrolyzers. To try and map the current situation on the electrolyzer market, we contacted 18 manufacturers, primarily from the German-speaking region, but also from across Europe and North America. Ten of them have sent us details on their electrolyzers. Nine of them have made it onto the product list; Diamond Lite and Proton OnSite provided virtually identical information.
Splitting water into hydrogen and oxygen with the help of electrical energy is commonly known as water electrolysis. This process matches the oxyhydrogen experiments one may remember from the classroom, albeit in reverse. If the anode and cathode in an electrolyzer cell are separated by a semipermeable membrane or a diaphragm, the gases produced by the process can be directed out of the cell individually.
This March, Shell presented a new study carried out in collaboration with the Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy. Focusing on transportation, the authors compared several different production pathways for hydrogen and took a closer look at the three regions spearheading global development: Germany, Japan and the United States. Jörg Adolf, who headed the project at Shell, said that hydrogen technology had made big advances over the past years, “not just in car use.”
Heliocentris Energy Solutions, which filed for bankruptcy in late 2016, will be no more, although its expertise will live on. The manufacturing and the education division were sold to different companies, but many employees who worked in Berlin lost their job.
For many years, heating systems based on fuel cells had played a central role on the joint booth Hydrogen + Fuel Cells + Batteries at Hannover Messe. This time, however, the Fuel Cell Initiative, IBZ, was nowhere to be found, not because there was no interest in the technology, but because it has been made available on the market.