New Energy Department Report Shows Strong Growth in the Fuel Cell Market in 2011

    September 6, 2012

    The Energy Department today released a new report showing significant growth for the fuel cell industry in 2011, and forecasting continued growth through 2012. The 2011 Fuel Cell Technologies Market Report finds that commercial markets for fuel cell technologies expanded significantly over the last year, especially in the materials handling industry. At the end of 2011, more than 3,000 fuel cell forklifts were either deployed or on order in the United States.

    The growth of the fuel cell industry compliments the Department's commitment to U.S. leadership in innovative fuel cell technologies that give American businesses more options to cut energy costs and reduce petroleum use. The Energy Department's fuel cell research and development efforts have successfully generated more than 300 patents and enabled more than 30 technologies getting to market. At the same time, fuel cell durability has doubled, expensive platinum content has been reduced by a factor of five, and the cost of fuel cells has fallen 80% since 2002.

    The report highlights continued growth in fuel cell commercial deployments, especially for material handling equipment like lift trucks, combined heat and power, and back-up and auxiliary power unit applications. The report also finds increased use of power purchase agreements in the stationary fuel cell market, enabling customers to purchase fuel cell power and heat without owning the fuel cell itself. With increasing availability, falling costs, and significant improvements in performance and durability, the report projects the fuel cells industry to continue growing through 2012 and beyond.

    Developed by Breakthrough Technologies Institute for the Energy Department’s Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy, the report provides an overview of trends in the fuel cell industry and markets, including product shipments, market development, and corporate performance in 2011. The report tracks important developments across the hydrogen and fuel cell sector, providing a valuable tool for state and local officials as well as industry stakeholders.