As the fuel cell industry makes the transition from the R&D stage to full commercialization, breakout applications are continuing to emerge and business models and market structures are evolving rapidly. Overall, the industry continues to expand, and the total size of the global market including revenues from fuel cells and from hydrogen for fuel cells and internal combustion engines (ICEs) will reach $785 million in 2012, according to a new white paper from Pike Research.
One key market that is taking shape is the use of fuel cells for residential combined heat and power (resCHP) applications, a market that is experiencing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 67.7%. Meanwhile, Pike Research expects that remote sensing will be the breakout market for small fuel cells in 2012, as they are well-suited for applications including dam monitoring, seismic monitoring, wildlife monitoring, weather stations, and others. However, other sectors do not look so promising, according to Pike Research’s analysis – one example is the portable fuel cell market, particularly for consumer electronics applications, which the firm anticipates will suffer disappointment in 2012 after a recent renewal of the hype in this sector. The white paper, which includes 10 predictions about the fuel cell market in 2012, is available for free download on Pike Research’s website.
“The fuel cell and hydrogen industries are once again entering a year of growth, as seen in the revenue projections for the first time surpassing three-quarters of a billion dollars, but market participants also face significant challenges,” says research director Kerry-Ann Adamson. “As well as growth in the current markets, we are also starting to see new markets emerging – including, in 2012, the remote sensing sector, with increasing demand for fit-for-purpose products from the fuel cell industry.”
Pike Research’s industry predictions for 2012 include the following:
Rhetoric and reality will diverge in the hydrogen energy storage market
Flight to third-party countries for manufacturing will increase
Hype will be followed by disappointment in the portable fuel cell sector
Buyouts and corporate investments will continue
Renewables, storage, and fuel cells will converge in the off-grid power market
Pike Research’s white paper, “The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industries: Ten Trends to Watch in 2012 and Beyond”, offers analysis and insights on 10 key trends that will influence the direction of the fuel cell and hydrogen industries in 2012 and beyond. Information and analysis in this paper is drawn from Pike Research’s ongoing coverage of the global fuel cell market, with forecasts included for key market sectors.