Today, the U.S. Department of Energy’s (DOE’s) Fuel Cell Technologies Office in the Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy announces the release of the 2016 Business Case for Fuel Cells, an annual report providing an overview of recent private sector fuel cell installations at U.S. businesses.
While the government, primarily through the DOE, has focused on early-stage research and development, industry has been successfully commercializing and deploying cutting-edge technologies in fuel cells and hydrogen that are now demonstrating tangible benefits. Over the past few decades, hundreds of thousands of fuel cells have been installed around the world, for primary or backup power, as well as in various other applications including portable and emergency backup power. Fuel cells have also been deployed in other applications, such as heat and electricity for homes and apartments, material handling, passenger vehicles, buses, and remote, off‐grid sites. Monitoring early private sector fuel cell installations can provide valuable feedback to guide further R&D activities.
Highlights since last year’s report include:
- Home Depot now country’s largest stationary fuel cell customer, with more than 140 sites
- IKEA installing fuel cells at 4 more stores in California and one in Connecticut
- eBay adding 3.75 MW to its Utah data center, bringing it to ~10 MW
- More than 15,000 fuel cell‐forklifts in operation or on order.
The business case for fuel cells is growing. With the industry rapidly emerging as a multibillion dollar market opportunity, the United States is staking a leadership role in technology development, manufacturing, and economic impact. A main reason for this success is the increasing investment by the private sector and business community.