How fuel cells are transforming energy markets

America’s clean energy future is now. Fuel cells are no longer an “if” technology, but a “when”, and that “when” is today.

The technology began to gain traction over a decade ago when fuel cells showed that they fit well in a range of early applications, competing head to head with incumbent technologies. Fuel cells have demonstrated their versatility as a reliable and clean power generation source in a number of sectors, including forklifts, data centers, and telecom towers, as well as growing popularity as an onsite, low-emission power source for retail stores and corporate facilities. Fuel cell power generation is becoming more widespread, with more than a hundred thousand fuel cell systems operating worldwide.

Why are fuel cell sales and leases increasing in end-user markets? The technology is versatile and reliable, capable of producing power for anything that needs it, whether it is a motive, stationary, off-grid, or portable application. Fuel cells are a low-to-zero emission technology, producing energy electrochemically without combustion, and typically exempted from state air permitting requirements. With few moving parts, fuel cells are very quiet, and, compared to some other technologies, the installation footprint is small. These attributes allow the technology to be sited indoors or out, in places such as rooftops, basements, parking garages, building grounds, or near public spaces.

In addition, fuel cells are scalable, ranging from small portables to multi-megawatt (MW) utility-scale units, generating power at around 50 percent electrical efficiency. Some fuel cell systems capture by-product heat which can increase combined electrical and thermal efficiency to 90 percent or greater.

Fuel cells utilize hydrogen, which can be extracted from virtually any hydrogen-containing source, including conventional (fossil fuels) and renewable resources (biogas, biomass, solar and wind). Given these diverse sources of hydrogen, a synergy exists between fuel cells and both the renewable and fossil fuel industries. As the fuel cell and hydrogen industries continue to grow, market expansion opportunities will also expand for these sectors.

How fuel cells are transforming energy markets

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Energy: Seize the day

The fall in the price of oil and gas provides a once-in-a-generation opportunity to fix bad energy policies.

The plunging price of oil, coupled with advances in clean energy and conservation, offers politicians around the world the chance to rationalise energy policy. They can get rid of billions of dollars of distorting subsidies, especially for dirty fuels, whilst shifting taxes towards carbon use. A cheaper, greener and more reliable energy future could be within reach.

Energy: Seize the day.

Looking for the next oil boom? Follow the tech.

Advances in drilling technology are making what was once thought old new again.

Looking for the next oil boom? Follow the tech.

Sun Land

The New Push for Solar Power.

Sun Land

Planning the Cities of the Future

Cities help define our global civilisation. For hundreds of years, they have been the hubs around which we organise ourselves politically, commercially and culturally.

Planning the Cities of the Future – The Great Energy Challenge Blog.

 

Pressure on Oil Megaprojects

Around the world, the giant oil companies of the United States and Europe are putting the brakes on a decade-long spending spree focused on finding and developing offshore oil fields in ever-tougher environments.

Pressure on Oil Megaprojects – NYTimes.com.

 

Companies dream up high-tech roadways

Forget high-tech cars—Dreaming up high-tech roads.

Companies dream up high-tech roadways.

What Will Fuel the Future?

Power to the People | Foreign Affairs.