A person named P. Drucker tweeted, “Predicting the future is like trying to drive down a country road at night with no lights while looking out the back window.” And this may be a very good way of looking at the future of fuel cells as well.
Two recent reports by two different research firms (Pike and Lux) paint both a rosy and dreary picture of the future of stationary fuel cells in the marketplace, respectively.
Here’s what Pike Research has to say, “Over the past year, the stationary fuel cell industry has experienced healthy growth due to a surge in U.S. and foreign government interest in reliable and resilient energy sources. The sector is now at a point where, if all government policy relevant to stationary fuel cells was carried out, the global market potential would surpass three gigawatts (GW) in 2013, and increasing to more than 50 GW by 2020. According to a new report from Pike Research, a part of Navigant’s Energy Practice, the number of stationary fuel cells shipped annually will increase from 21,000 in 2012 to more than 350,000 by 2022.”
Now, according to Lux Research, “The dream of a hydrogen economy envisioned for decades by politicians, economists, and environmentalists is no nearer, with hydrogen fuel cells turning a modest $3 billion market of about 5.9 GW in 2030.”
So, which is it, 50 GW by 2020 or 5.9 GW by 2030?
I have my own quote I would like to toss out, “Predicting the future is like herding cats in the dark with your shoes on backwards.”
The future of fuel cells is a book that has yet to be written. And it is up to all of us to make sure that the country road Mr. Drucker had talked about is one day clearly lit with the energy from hydrogen fuel cells.
You can read the full text by both research firms here (you may need to sign up as a member first to get the full access).