Hydrogen and Fuel Cells – The Energy Innovation of The Era
The United States Environmental Protection Agency has stated in its digital publication that 4.6 metric tons of carbon dioxide are emitted every year by a typical passenger vehicle. The red flags raised by the escalating carbon emission level is encouraging innovation of emission-free technology. Hydrogen and fuel cells avoid thermal bottleneck as it does not involve any combustion. In fact, it functions as a battery for the conversion of chemical potential energy into electrical energy. Thus, the proponents of the technology are advocating the adoption of hydrogen as an efficient source of energy.
The production process of hydrogen doesn’t aggravate environmental concerns. It can be produced in an eco-friendly manner, unlike other fuels that cause ecological erosion. In spite of being a relatively newer concept, hydrogen and fuel cells have gained much mileage over the last few years. Automotive industry leaders such as Hyundai and Toyota are leveraging fuel cells for capitalizing on opportunities unleashed by emission regulations. As per records, Toyota has already sold more than 7,000 Mirai hydrogen car since it was launched in 2014.
The depleting sources of energy have boosted the shift towards hydrogen and fuel cells. However, the durability factor of these cells remains a pain point for automotive manufacturers. Industry leaders are emphasizing on investments and innovations for addressing the issue at hand. Case to the point is, a leader providing energy solutions - Plug Power Inc.- has announced the launch of a 30-kilowatt (kW) hydrogen fuel cell engine. The engine is designed to serve the needs of electric vehicle (EV) use-case and also focuses on extending runtimes and reliability in extreme conditions.
The efforts directed towards increasing green footprints is anticipated to catalyze investments in the hydrogen and fuel cells market in the foreseeable future. According to Market Research Future (MRFR)’s study, this is prognosticated to motivate industry-leading energy innovations while striking a CAGR of 25% over 2025.
With the advancements in technology, the hydrogen fuel cell system is exhibiting proliferating applications and rising revenue generation. The excessive utilization of these systems in cold regions for residential applications is a boost to the business models of the manufacturers. Going by the ongoing trends, hydrogen fuel cell signifies potential for penetration of more domains over the next couple of years. Also, consumers are getting increasingly aware of the pros of clean energy. This, in turn, is working in favor of the utilization of the technology.
Developed economies, especially in North America and Europe, are supporting the large-scale adoption of hydrogen fueling infrastructure by making provisions for tax incentives. The climate policies framed by the European Union is pushing the demand for hydrogen as a fuel in the region. The region is exemplifying and promoting the replacement of conventional energy sources. Asia Pacific’s energy consumption is observed to be skyrocketing. The utilization of hydrogen in the region is not a choice, but a necessity. An understanding of the current situation reflects on the growth pattern of hydrogen fuel cell systems.
The technology is expected to witness substantial developments in the future. However, at the nascent stage too, it resonates strong opportunities for growth. Increasing support from the governments is likely to attract new entrants to the competitive landscape. Plug Power Inc. (U.S.), Panasonic Corporation (Japan), Intelligent Energy Holdings plc (U.K.), FuelCell Energy, Inc. (U.S.), Hyster-Yale Group (U.S.), and Doosan Fuel Cell (U.S.) are some of the global leaders expected to expedite the adoption of the innovation in 2019 and beyond.
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