Fuel cells and hydrogen are ‘game changing’ technologies with extensive applications across transport, stationary power and beyond. Hydrogen, as an energy carrier, and fuel cells, as an enabling technology, will be critical in the delivery of a clean energy future.
Fuel cell commercialisation is moving forward rapidly across the world. It is estimated that the global fuel cell market could be worth over $26bn in 2020 and over $180bn in 2050. The UK share of this market could be $1bn in 2020 rising to $19bn in 2050 .
The growing industry is creating new jobs, with recent research estimating that more than 700,000 new green manufacturing jobs will be generated globally over the next decade . Currently, over 100 UK companies, as well as over 35 academic and contract research groups highly active in fuel cells and hydrogen, are contributing to the creation of this promising, global industry.
The UK is home to leading international hydrogen supply and storage companies. Large global players such as Air Products and BOC / Linde have particular strengths in stationary gas and liquid fuel storage and handling. Other players, such as ITM Power, are working on the integration of hydrogen systems with renewable generation, including electrolysers and fuel cells.
The UK fuel cell industry is characterised by a number of world class system developers, active across a range of application areas. Companies such as Ceres Power, Intelligent Energy and Rolls-Royce Fuel Cell Systems are designing products which will revolutionise transport and stationary power markets. Others are developing and supplying innovative materials and components; these range from established players such as Johnson Matthey and UCM Advanced Ceramics through to innovative start-ups, such as BAC2 and Acal Energy.
The UK is also internationally recognised for its research and consultancy services, active across many parts of the supply chain and addressing common issues, such as socio-economic aspects, policy and market development etc.