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The global fuel cell market value was $3.86 Bn in 2020 and is forecast to reach $23.6 Bn in 2028. Also, the global fuel cell market will grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 27.4% during the forecast period from 2021-2028.
An electrochemical fuel cell consists of a fuel (often hydrogen) and an oxidizing agent ( typically oxygen) that combine to generate electricity through a pair of redox reactions. The chemical reaction in fuel cells requires a continuous supply of fuel and oxygen (usually from fresh air). However, in a battery, the chemical energy comes from metals and their ions or oxides that are already present in the cell, except in flow batteries. The use of fuel and oxygen can enable fuel cells to produce electricity continuously.
There are various types of fuel cells. The major classifications are as follows:
Solid Oxide Fuel Cell: The electrolyte of solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) is a tough, non-porous ceramic compound. SOFCs are about 60% efficient at converting fuel to electricity. Overall fuel efficiency can top 85% when waste heat is captured and utilized (co-generation).
A SOFC can operate at temperatures as high as 1,830°F (1,830°C). Because a precious metal catalyst is not necessary for the high-temperature process, the cost of the process is lower.
Phosphoric Acid Fuel Cell: The phosphoric acid fuel cells (PACs) use liquid phosphoric acid as an electrolyte—the acid residues within a Teflon-bonded silicon carbide matrix—and porous carbon electrodes containing platinum catalysts.
The PAFC fuel cell uses fuel cells to generate power for stationary applications, but some fuel cells can provide power for large vehicles like city buses.
Alkaline Fuel Cell: Alkaline fuel cells (AFCs) were the first type of fuel cell, and they were the first type of fuel cell that could produce electrical energy and produce water for spacecraft. The electrodes and cathode are made of nonprecious metals and don't use a precious metal solution as the electrolyte. The use of polymer membranes as electrolytes in AFCs has increased in the last few years. These fuel cells are similar to conventional PEM fuel cells, except that they use an alkaline membrane instead of an acid membrane.
Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell is also known as Polymer Electrolyte Membrane. These fuel cells are high in power density and are low in weight and volume compared to other types. An electrolyte consists of a solid polymer, and the electrodes contain carbon porous containing a platinum catalyst. They operate only on hydrogen, oxygen from the air, and water. Typically, they produce hydrogen from storage tanks or reformers.
A growing market for portable devices, government regulations intended to reduce pollution levels, and better fuel cell efficiency are the primary factors that drive this market. There will be an increase in fuel cell awareness in the coming years, meaning a larger impact on fuel cells.
Restraints: Fuel cell markets and industries face several obstacles, including the high cost of the catalyst, which corresponds to a higher price for fuel cells, and lack of fuel cell infrastructure. Over the coming years, the cost of a fuel cell is forecast to decrease due to technological advances.
Challenges: Embedding high-efficiency wireless technologies into recent innovations is likely to reach a wider audience. Several players are offering innovative products on the market. In the future, the competition will intensify by technologies such as new types of fuel cells.
Growth: Fuel cells hold substantial potential for development on a global scale. Despite its maturity, the market will likely contribute significantly to the worldwide economy in the next six years.
International Energy Agency reports that the Covid-19 crisis has impacted the addition of renewable power capacity significantly. A combination of the worldwide recession of Covid-19 and IEA research forecasts a decrease in new renewable energy installations worldwide in 2020 due to the expected decline in new renewable energy installations.
This outbreak will impact global supply chains for hydrogen-based technologies, for which a coordinated supply chain and a significant amount of capital are necessary.
The IEA notes that the current hydrogen demand from oil refineries, steel producers, and chemical companies will be affected by the Covid-19 outbreak. An IEA report projects 9% reductions in gasoline consumption, 6% in diesel, and 26% in jet fuel by 2020, while 7% decreases in demand for key chemicals produced from hydrogen (such as methanol).
During the forecast period 2021-2028, Asia-Pacific will be the largest market, as new fuel cell-powered vehicles will be in high demand in the region. In addition, the rising production of power from cleaner energy sources will likely boost the advancements in the fuel cell technology market in the area.
Several leading prominent competitors in the global Fuel Cell Market are:
The global Fuel Cell Market segmentation consists of Type, Application, and Region.
Segmentation based on Type
Segmentation based on Application
Segmentation based on Region
Middle East & Africa (MEA)