BOULDER, Colo. - The stationary fuel cell market is experiencing significant growth. Commercial adopters are demonstrating increased interest. The residential market is considered to be close behind. According to a new Pike Pulse report published by Pike Research, two prime power fuel cell vendors are the best positioned in the early stages of this market: FuelCell Energy and UTC Power.

“The prime power fuel cell market is in a fluid, vibrant phase of market growth,” said research director Kerry-Ann Adamson. “In the midst of this critical stage of development, we are seeing some new market trends appearing. These include the ‘electrons or hardware’ business model where adopters lease or buy the stationary fuel cell prime power unit. The benefits of both vary depending on the adopter and, interestingly, the country in which the company is operating. In terms of geography, we have seen some companies developing a single country specific product, for example in the Japanese residential market. So although a company may be leading today, in terms of deployment, looking forward it could face significant barriers to entry for its product in other regions.”

Adamson added that FuelCell Energy attained the highest overall score in the Pike Pulse report due to a combination of a clear go-to-market strategy, geographic reach, and partnerships, coupled with its cost-down systems and mass manufacturing. In this market, where high-quality, high-volume manufacturing is not the norm, Adamson said, FuelCell Energy’s ability to ramp up manufacturing based on market demand gives it a clear edge.

UTC Power is the runner-up and is assessed as second in both strategy and execution.

The highest-ranking residential prime power fuel cell manufacturer in the study is ClearEdge Power, with Ceramic Fuel Cells only one point behind.

Publication date:07/18/2011