The fuel cell market in Germany is expected to grow at a CAGR of 10.97% during the forecast period of 2020-2025. Factors, such as advantages of fuel cell over its alternatives such as the lithium-ion battery and high energy density are expected to drive the market studied. However, on the flip side, the availability of proven and cost-effective alternate energy storage systems in the market and lack of hydrogen supply infrastructure are expected to restrain the market during the forecast period.
- Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM) is expected to remain the dominant fuel cell type during the forecast period.
- Pure battery vehicles cannot cover all the route, load, and refueling requirements, therefore fuel cells are being considered as a practical solution for trucks to maintain a place. Thus, this is expected to provide a great opportunity for the fuel cell market in the near future.
- Increasing government support for fuel cell technology is expected to drive the market during the forecast period.
Key Market Trends
Polymer Electrolyte Membrane Fuel Cell (PEM) to Dominate the Market
- PEM fuel cell usage for electrical power generation continues to dominate the stationary application, while for household heat and power it is in nascent stage. During 2019, trucks and other heavy vehicles have increasingly started the significant application of PEM fuel cells.
- By the end of 2018, there were 60 hydrogen refueling stations open to German customers, 54 of which are owned and operated by H2 Mobility, a joint venture formed by FCHEA members Air Liquide and Linde along with other industry partners. The number of hydrogen refueling stations reached 100 by the end of 2019.
- The marine sector is also expected to witness the adoption of PEM fuel in the coming years for supplying power to hotel operations of cruise ships during docking and for provision of primary propulsion power when ships are at sea, mainly due to IMO's emission regulations on the marine sector.
- The commercialization of PEM fuel cells has been limited, due to the high cost and low stability of electrodes. Generally, platinum on carbon support (Pt/C) is the most widely used catalyst for both anode and cathode in PEM fuel cells.
- Among the various types of support materials, carbon black (Vulcan XC -72) has been widely used in PEM fuel cells, due to its high electrical conductivity and high specific area. However, it suffers from electro-oxidation under fuel cell operating conditions, resulting in the loss of catalytic activity after long term operation.
Increasing Government Support to Drive the Market
- The fuel cell technology has been under development in Germany for many years, both for the distributed generation of power and heat and as a source of power for vehicles in mobile applications.
- In November 2019, the Federal Ministry of Transport announced that EUR 23.5 million has been allocated to projects as part of the National Innovation Programme on Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).
- Morover, the country is promoting the deployment of fuel cell electric buses (FCEBs) on individual capacity, to reduce GHG emissions in the countries. Regional transport authority, Regionalverkehr Koln, was awarded EUR 7.4 million by the government to purchase 30 FCEBs and two hydrogen refueling stations (HRS).
- The country also aims to promote the deployment of 100 stations by the end of 2020, and 1000 stations by the end of 2030. Such initiatives are expected to significantly support the deployment of fuel cells in the country, in the coming years.
The Germany fuel cell market is moderately fragmented. Some of the key players are SFC Energy AG, Proton Motor Fuel Cell GmbH, Ballard Power Systems Inc., FuelCell Energy Inc., and Plug Power Inc.
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