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.
Hyundai has been on the market with its mass-produced ix35 fuel cell car since 2013. Last year, 250 units were shipped to Europe, with 120 sold or leased to German businesses alone. And this year, Linde established BeeZero, which ordered as many as 50 of them for its vehicle-sharing service in Munich. Even though the fuel cell version won’t be coming to every Hyundai dealership within the next months, H2-international put it to the test for nine days
Since 2008, South Korea has aggressively pushed the development of the fuel cell markets for stationary and mobile use. The driving factor behind the government’s decision was the global economic crisis, which led to an equally painful economic downturn in Asia. In the country officially called the Republic of Korea, it awakened dark memories
Large fuel cell systems in the megawatt range have so far been set up primarily in South Korea or the States. Now, Germany is said to get its first 1.4 MW plant. The new system by FuelCell Energy Solutions is currently being built in the Friedrichsfeld suburb of Mannheim (see photo). E.ON Connecting Energies has been implementing the Direct FuelCell® unit
Ballard Power is placing a bigger focus on China, evidenced by the various agreements with Chinese companies from the field of bus manufacturing and the development of hydrogen-driven rail vehicles. According to company information, the Canadian fuel-cell manufacturer paid special attention to only collaborate with known, reputable partners, whether big or small, which enjoy their own location advantages.
FuelCell Energy specializes in large-scale projects using fuel-cell technology to generate clean energy (electricity and heat). It is also leading in technologies such as CO2 capture and storage. The company recently secured a contract award by the American Department of Energy for a scalable CO2 capturing project (e.g., for coal-fired power plants) potentially worth around US$ 24 million. The system used
Eight companies that won a public competition for funds to build hydrogen fueling stations in California are scrambling this summer to meet an October 31, 2015, target date for opening their stations, with at least $4.5 million at stake. The California Energy Commission (CEC) awarded $46.6 million in 2014 for 28 stations and a mobile refueler. A start-up, FirstElement Fuel, won financing for 19, but there were seven other winners. CEC funding will pay 85% of station costs, but only if stations come on line before November 1, 2015. The subsidy goes to 75% November 2015 through February 2016, and to 70% thereafter.