Fuel cells have jumped off the drawing board and into the hands of customers -- albeit in limited quantities and in niche markets.
According to the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, more than 40 fuel cell products for micro, portable, stationary and transportation applications are available now from manufacturers based in the United States, Canada and Europe. And while availability doesn't necessarily translate into a fully commercial commodity, the list demonstrates that "the hard work of our members and the public/private partnership are starting to pay dividends," says Robert Rose, executive director of the U.S. Fuel Cell Council. "Fuel cells are available today and in some markets are competing directly against incumbent technologies."
According to recent survey results from the U.S. Fuel Cell Council, fuel cells sales reached $353 million in 2005, up 7% over the previous year. Research and development spending rose 11% to $796 million and employment specific to the fuel cell industry grew by 12% to 7,074.
|Ballard Power Systems Inc.'s Nexa power module|