The U.S. and Europe are undeniably the expansion hubs for fuel cell industry in the years ahead, primarily on account of the rising number of government initiatives and increased commercialization of the fuel cell technology. While the Department of Energy of the USA has announced the investment of $130 million towards developing hydrogen fueling infrastructure in the country in 2015, the UK government invested $30.6 million towards developing hydrogen fuel vehicle infrastructure in 2017. China has emerged as a major revenue contributor of APAC fuel cell market with a target CAGR estimation of 20% over 2017-2024, driven by the country’s widespread manufacturing of fuel cell driven buses, trucks and light vehicles and the favorable policy support provided by the Chinese government.
The massively increasing demand for renewable energy has served as a major boost to fuel cell market, the growth graph of which is projected to display a marked ascent over 2017-2024. It is prudent to note that a fuel cell is rather different from a battery – it is basically an electrochemical mechanism that can produce electricity through the combination of hydrogen and oxygen and is a renewable source of energy that keeps generating electricity as long as the combination of source fuels is available.
As the fuel is not burnt in power generation, it is an unobtrusive process and truly pollution free with zero carbon dioxide emission, which is one of the principal concerns of most industry verticals worldwide. As governments in various nations are undertaking positive steps to decrease carbon dioxide emissions, fuel cell industry share is projected to climb exponentially high in the next few years.
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Fuel cell industry growth is driven by three main application segments, namely stationary power, transportation and portable power. It is imperative to state that stationary applications among these would emerge as one of the most profitable segments of fuel cell market, driven by the demand for heating in commercial, residential and industrial spaces. Furthermore, the requirement of backup power sources in schools, hotels, hospitals, telecommunication base stations, and data centers will also propel the stationary fuel cell market. Portable fuel cell market size on the other hand, will be augmented by the product’s widespread usage as a power source for laptops, torches, radios, MP3 players, cameras etc. Subject to the product’s rapid rechargeability, reliability, longer run time and low operating cost, portable fuel cell industry is projected to generate significant revenue in the forecast period.
It is noteworthy to mention that analysts forecast transport applications to be inherently responsible for propelling fuel cell market to the farthest extent. Japan and Korea for instance, had introduced light duty fuel cell operated vehicles, post which the concept gained huge prominence. Most of the heavy automotive hitters such as Honda, Hyundai, Ford, Toyota, etc., have now manufactured their own fuel cell electric vehicles. The rapid increase in the production of fuel cell driven buses, forklifts, airplanes, motorbikes and boats vividly indicate that fuel cell industry stands to substantially profit from the expanding electric vehicle market.
As regional and international governments and regulatory bodies across the globe are intent toward decreasing carbon emissions, the popularity of fuel cells is expected to soar as an alternate power source, driven by its renewable and cost-effective nature. With the robust growth witnessed across global renewable energy sector, it is projected that fuel cell industry size would surpass 900 megawatts by 2024 in terms of volume, with an estimated target valuation of USD 6 billion at the end of seven years in terms of revenue.
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