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World fuel cells market to increase tenfold through 2007.

The world commercial market for fuel cell products and services is projected to increase tenfold through 2007 to $2.4 billion, at which time it will represent just under one-quarter of total fuel cell spending (including research and development expenditures as well as product and service revenues), up from just over seven percent in 2002. By 2012, the commercial fuel cell market will reach $12.6 billion, accounting for over half of total world fuel cell spending. Following several years of anticipation, fuel cell technology appears poised to achieve significant commercial penetration in certain niche applications within the next three-to-five years, driven by technological innovations that drive costs down to competitive levels. The governments of several key nations--including the US and Japan, as well as the European Union--have recently announced plans to support fuel cell technology development and commercialization, which will help fund such advances. These and other trends are presented in World Fuel Cells, a new study from The Freedonia Group, Inc., a Cleveland-based industrial market research firm.

Fuel cells hold particularly good shorter-term prospects in electric power generation applications--in both distributed and grid-based formats--and as power sources for portable electronic devices (wireless phones, handheld computers, etc.). Full cell-powered industrial stationary and motive power equipment (e.g., uninterruptible power supplies, lift trucks, automated guided vehicles and the like) are likely to achieve some commercialization as well during the present decade. By contrast, fuel cellpowered motor vehicles are not expected to emerge in a major way until well into the next decade at the earliest, given formidable product design challenges and the need to build a fueling infrastructure virtually from scratch.

The largest national fuel cell markets will be found in the industrialized regions of North America, Western Europe and Asia/Pacific, at least initially. Longer term, developing countries with deficient centralized power grids hold the potential to comprise significant markets for fuel cell-based electric power generation systems. As of the early 2000s, three countries--the US, Japan and Germany--accounted for an estimated 60 percent of total world spending on fuel cell-related activities, with Canada and the United Kingdom also important.
(million US dollars)

 % Annual Growth
Item 1997 2002 2007 02/97 07/02

Commercial Fuel Cell Market 115 240 2400 15.9 58.5
 Electric Power Generation 83 149 1500 12.4 58.7
 Automotive 11 48 165 34.3 28.0
 Portable Electronics 1 13 380 67.0 96.4
 Industrial Stationary/Motive
 Power neg 10 215 nmf 84.7
 Others 20 20 140 0.0 47.6

neg--negligible; nmf-not meaningful

[c] 2003 by The Freedonia Group, Inc.

World Fuel Cells (published 05/2003, 394 pages) is available for $4,900 from The Freedonia Group, Inc., 767 Beta Drive, Cleveland, OH 44143-2326. For further details, please contact Corinne Gangloff by phone 440.684.9600, fax 440.646.0484 or e-mail Information may also be obtained through
COPYRIGHT 2003 Subscription: $00.00 per year as of 1/94. Published irregularly. Contact Freedonia Group, 3570 Warrensville Cente
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Publication:Research Studies - Freedonia Group
Geographic Code:00WOR
Date:May 16, 2003
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