Growing population, advancements in technology, rapid industrialization of third world countries, and widespread use of electronic gadgets is leading to a tremendous increase in the per capita energy consumption in the world.
Rising energy consumption, especially in large cities, is placing additional pressure on conventional power generation methods, which is further complicated by growing concerns about environmental pollution, and depleting fossil fuel reserves. In such circumstances, alternative and efficient sources of power generation is becoming the focal point for companies and global governments. Fuel cell market is an industry with huge potential, and holds enormous significance in the wake of rising energy consumption and limited supply of non-renewable energy sources. In particular, rising interest in SOFCs is hastening the development and commercialization of the technology. SOFC is a fuel-efficient and eco-friendly method of electricity generation that is being touted as the energy technology of the future. SOFCs hold enormous potential for low cost, and clean energy/electricity generation from currently available fossil fuels.
The United States, Japan, and Europe account for a major share of the revenues generated in the global SOFC market, as stated by the new market research report on Solid Oxide Fuel Cells. North America is the world’s leading market for SOFCs, and holds an edge due to an early start in developing and commercializing the technology. The market also enjoys strong support from the government in the form of Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance (SECA) and various other innovative programs, which apart from providing scientific and monetary assistance encourage collaborative efforts among industry participants and the government. Growing demand from stationary power applications, advent of large conventional power companies into the SOFC industry, and improving operational performance of SOFC technology is expected to drive growth in the market.
Large stationary power plants represent the largest application area for SOFCs, due to their ability to operate in high temperatures. Co-generation is also carried out to optimally utilize the waste heat produced by SOFCs. The role of SOFC technology in powering automotives is also limited given the fact that SOFCs being high temperature structures do not generate electricity at temperatures below 650°C. This translates into fewer additional minutes of fuel burning before the cell reaches its operating temperature, thereby leading to fuel wastage. Despite the disadvantage, SOFCs are being used in select vehicles such as those used for public transportation. Technology developments resulting in the development and manufacture of compact, modular designed SOFCs are expected to find use in energy sector in urban environments.
Major players profiled in the report include Acumentrics Corporation, Adaptive Materials Inc., Ceramic Fuel Cells Ltd., Cummins Power Generation Inc., Delphi, FuelCell Energy Inc., GE Hybrid Power Generation Systems, Hexis AG, Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems Ltd., Siemens Energy Inc., and Ztek Corporation.
The report titled “Solid Oxide Fuel Cells (SOFCs): A Global Strategic Business Report” announced by Global Industry Analysts, Inc., provides a review of market trends, technology overview, and recent industry activity. The study analyzes market data and analytics in terms of revenues for regions including the United States, Canada, Japan, Europe, and Rest of World.