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Regional markets of RES-fuel cell systems for households (RES-FC MARKET)

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Micro-CHP technologies to produce decentralised heat and power by using fuel cells and renewable energy sources are already available, but at prohibitive cost. Two major barriers for commercialisation are absence of regulations and, especially, the price. This project delivered plans to market and cut down the costs of such systems, by means of aggregation of regional markets, economies of scale, sharing experience between the regions, implementing best practices and technical improvements. The key part of the project is a catalogue of potential regional markets of Renewable energy sources Fuel Cells in Households and market plans in at least 10 regions, describing the technology to be used there, local conditions, barriers and ways to overcome them.


  • Support the development of early niche markets for renewable energy source fuel cell CHPs for 3 types of Fuel cells in Households: biogas/fuel cells, methanol/fuel cells and "excess wind"/H2/fuel cells.
  • In the gathering of the number of communities and regions that are interested in demonstration of RES-FC Market systems the potential markets are lower than expected within the given time frame. Until now 1200 potential units have been identified in the period up to 2010.
  • The plan for Germany is to have 2.250 fuel cell CHP systems for households by 2012, and 72.000 units/yr by 2020. In the Netherlands 50.000 natural gas based high temperature fuel cell household systems are planned, starting at the end of 2009 with a rate of 10.000 units/year.

Lessons learned

  • One of the main conclusions of the market analysis is that to get the full benefit of the expected cost reduction via economics of scale when developing an aggregated market, the same basic system has to be purchased. This system (modular HT PEM) has been developed as a part of this project and can function across regions/markets with different heat and electricity requirements. This system has expected cost reduction of 50 % solely due to increasing production volumes.
  • The main barrier against the development of RES FC systems are costs and/or low efficiencies. One recurring recommendation is thus a certain level of subsidy for the introduction of the technology – also coupled with set minimum tariffs for delivery of electricity to the grid - as well as national or EU policy within the area.
  • Last update: 24.06.2010

Partners and coordinator

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Hydrogen Innovation and Research Centre at HIH Development A/S
Contact point: 
Frans Bjoern-Thygesen
+45 7025 1114


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In brief

01/01/2006 to 30/06/2008
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