November 24, 2002
Fuel Cells Set To Grow As Electric Generators

The use of fuel cells to generate electricity in the US is set to rise dramatically.

The market for fuel cells that generate electric power is expected to be $3 billion by 2005, says Principia Partners, a market research firm. Meanwhile, the current $40-million stationary fuel cell market used for onsite generation is predicted to grow more than $10 billion by 2011, adds Alliance Business Intelligence. That's a jump from a generating capacity of 75 megawatts today to 15,000 megawatts by 2011.

To put that in perspective the total US electric generation capacity in 2000 was 639,429 megawatts.Coal fired plants represent nearly 38 percent of that capacity. In terms of actual generated electricity coal represents a larger percentage.

The US Department Of Energy is forecasting a fairly slow rate of rise in renewable electric power generation.

Total renewable generation, including CHP, is projected to increase from 298 billion kilowatthours in 2001 to 476 billion kilowatthours by 2020 in AEO2003, an increase of 2.5 percent per year. Growth in renewable generation was projected to grow at a slower 2.1 percent per year between 2001 and 2020 in AEO2002. Total renewable generation reaches 495 billion kilowatthours by 2025 in AEO2003.

I don't think that a forecast like this is going to turn out to be accurate because it seems reasonable to expect dramatic breakthroughs in an assortment of energy technologies. A lot of money is flowing into energy research.

PALO ALTO, Calif. - Stanford University said this week that a roster of corporate giants in energy and engineering had donated $225 million to fund research in developing less-polluting power sources, one of the largest such tie-ups between a university and major corporations.

Share |      Randall Parker, 2002 November 24 11:42 PM  Energy Electric Generators

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