At first, the veritable amount of grant money supporting fuel cell purchases in Germany had only been available to individuals owning residential buildings. Last July, the government changed the eligibility criteria of its technology rollout program to allow applications from SMEs, energy service companies and municipalities planning to install non-residential systems.
Despite the fuel cell industry’s recent growth spurt, the market still looks like a pyramid. At the top, you will find the stack and system manufacturers which offer commercial products and have a clear understanding of the costs involved and the wishes customers may have. These businesses are either driven by policy, as in Japan, or the forces of a free market, like FuelCell Energy. But of the worldwide more than 200 stack and system providers, fewer than 30 have made it this far.