Solid Oxide Fuel Cells
The global market value of solid oxide fuel cells is forecasted to reach $335 million by 2008, rising from $123 million in 2003 at an average annual growth rate (AAGR) of 22.2%.
North American markets, estimated to be about $67 million in 2003, represent about 55% of the global market.
Power plant stationary applications are expected to grow at an AAGR of 24% to $160 million by 2008.
The first precommercialized tubular SOFC units of 250 kW or more are expected to be available in pilot production in early 2004 in North America.
Residential SOFCs, mainly planar designs, are expected to be introduced in Europe in 2004.
The fuel cell industry is one of the fastest growing segments of the power industry due to the need for reliable power sources either for small applications (power-hungry laptops, for example) or larger ones (stationary, residential or transportation). Fuel cells now have reached the position of a viable alternative to standard means of power generation for all applications types and sizes. Market introduction of small or micro fuel cells is expected within the next few years for the high-end market. Power plants in various countries (U.S., Germany and Japan) are being constructed. Many cities, states or countries are moving a portion of their public transportation (buses or trains, for example) to hybrid electric vehicles, some using fuel cells. Solid oxide fuel cells offer one of the promising technology options for the entire range of applications described above.
With any technology, materials developments, design, safety and monitoring, market incentives and other motivating economic factors play an important role in their success for global and industry-wide market penetration and commercialization.
This timely BCC report represents the most complete technical, economic and document of its type on this subject and is designed to provide information of a professional nature. Like most disruptive technologies, fuel cells have emerging market opportunities as well as technical or commercialization hurdles to overcome. The market opportunities that solid oxide fuel cells represent for the materials industry are reviewed throughout this study, as well as the forecasted global market and economic values of this technology with emerging commercial opportunities and remaining challenges for specific applications.
SCOPE OF STUDY
The BCC report:
- Provides a brief overview of the position of solid oxide fuel cell technology within the larger field of fuel cells
- Discusses the motivating economic and legislative factors driving the industry
- Addresses the worldwide industry and competitiveness, with an emphasis on the U.S.
- Analyzes market drivers, market applications and new applications with forecasts to 2008
- Overviews patents and technology for materials, design, components and monitoring, and safety needs.
Information sources, which provided the research information for this report, include: in-depth analysis of technical and literature, a review of the history of the technology, interviews with industry experts, company representatives, federal government researchers, and university scientists. Secondary sources of information included product literature from solid oxide fuel cell system suppliers, and numerous scientific references, patent searches, and BCC's available database.
Forecasted and estimated values are based upon market trends, predicted values, historic trends, and private discussions with expert representatives from companies, laboratories, and governmental agencies. All figures are presented in constant 2003 U.S. dollars.
The information sources for this study include extensive literature review, online research, patent literature, worldwide technical journals and magazines, and interviews with principals in the industry.