Benefits

Fuel cells and hydrogen energy can:

Contributing to a low carbon economy, improving air quality and alleviating fuel poverty

In transport applications

In stationary applications

Enabling sustainable growth of the world economy

Enhancing energy security

Hydrogen energy and fuel cells offer an excellent contribution to the reliability of energy supplies. Fuel cells can be run on a wide and growing range of fuels, from natural gas to renewable hydrogen. They support the development of distributed power generation and, when combined with a hydrogen system, can provide a buffer for fluctuating renewable power. Hydrogen energy and fuel cells are part of an integrated and sustainable energy system for future generations. Without their deployment in the UK, the impacts of falling indigenous supplies are likely to be significantly greater.

Improving the management of renewables

References

  1. Fuel cell power plants produce substantially less pollution than conventional plants. Reductions ranging from 40% (summer smog) to almost 90% (eutrophication or magnification of toxic substances along food chains) are achievable, depending on the incumbent technology they are compared to (World Wild Life Fund and Fuel Cell Europe, 2003).
  2. Solid Oxide Fuel Cells can achieve 40-60% electrical efficiency in simple and hybrid combination and, given their high operating temperatures, up to 85% efficiency in combined heat and power applications (Solid State Energy Conversion Alliance, 2004) compared with 30%-38% for conventional boilers.
  3. http://www.decc.gov.uk/assets/decc/Statistics/climate_change/1214-stat-rel-uk-ghg-emissions-2009-final.pdf
  4. Well-to-Wheels analysis of future automotive fuels and powertrains in the European context, Well-to-wheels Report version 2b, May 2006.
  5. A portfolio of power-trains for Europe: a fact based analysis, McKinsey & Company, 2010
  6. Cleantech Magazine Fuel Cell Special, Volume 4, Issue 5, September 2010
  7. Ceres Power http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm200910/cmselect/cmenvaud/159/159we23.htm