Growing sales in the US are helping to bring attention to the range of benefits and markets that fuel cells can serve, according to The Business Case for Fuel Cells 2016: Delivering Sustainable Value, a new report from the Fuel Cell & Hydrogen Energy Association (FCHEA) in Washington, DC.
Fuel cells offer a unique combination of benefits – clean, reliable, on-demand power generation; fuel flexibility with ability to utilise pure hydrogen, natural gas or renewable biogas; silent operation; and scalability – which make them ideally suited for a range of applications. In addition to stationary and backup power, fuel cells are also competing and succeeding in the materials handling market, with companies finding value in improved operational efficiency and cost savings using fuel cells in forklifts and other vehicles over traditional battery-powered units.
‘Many of the world’s best-known companies and household brands trust fuel cell technology for reliable and affordable energy,’ says FCHEA president, Morry B. Markowitz. ‘Fuel cells enable a growing range of customers to not only achieve their environmental goals, but more significantly, obtain economic and operational benefits that boost their bottom line as well. Fuel cells are here to stay because they offer the full-package of clean, efficient power for business customers of all sizes.’
Highlights of the new report include:
- The Home Depot is now the country’s largest stationary fuel cell customer, with more than 140 retail sites in California, Connecticut and New York utilising the technology, totaling more than 28 MW. The company also relies on fuel cell powered forklifts at a site in Ohio, and plans an additional deployment in Georgia.
- IKEA recently installed fuel cells at four more stores in California and one in Connecticut, for a total of 1.5 MW.
- eBay added 3.75 MW to its Utah data centre, bringing that installation to approximately 10 MW.
- New customer Pfizer installed 5.6 MW of fuel cells at its Connecticut campus.
- The utility Avangrid has four different installations, totaling in excess of 10 MW.
The new report profiles dynamic market sectors where fuel cells are making an impact, including: retail shopping, grocers, food & logistics, industrial & consumer products, technology & telecoms, entertainment & sports, financial services, real estate, healthcare & biotechnology, hotels, transportation, and utilities.