There is another industry passing up fuel cell cars in regard to commercialization right now. And that industry is large stationary fuel cells to supply main or backup power. Ballard and Bloom Energy are two of the big players selling large stationary fuel cells to corporations such as Toyota and eBay.
According to Altenergymag, “Site preparation has commenced for the installation of a Ballard supplied 1-megawatt (MW) fuel cell generator at the Toyota Motor Sales U.S.A., Inc. (TMS) sales and marketing headquarters campus in Torrance, California.
“On June 13th Toyota held a groundbreaking ceremony at the site that will house Ballard’s CLEARgen™ fuel cell system. The system will provide peak electrical power and heat to a number of locations on Toyota’s multi-building campus, utilizing hydrogen produced by steam-reformation of renewable bio-gas generated at a landfill. The ability to offset peak electricity usage with an emission-free fuel cell system will create significant savings for Toyota, while reducing the facility’s environmental footprint.”
Now according to Bloomberg, “eBay Inc. set a bold new vision today for powering commerce with clean energy, announcing plans to build the next phase of the company’s flagship data center with renewable energy as its primary power source. Partnering with Bloom Energy, eBay is building the country’s largest non-utility fuel cell installation. Renewable energy typically supplements the electric grid, but eBay is designing renewable energy into the core of its global commerce platform, incorporating 30 Bloom Energy servers into the new data center’s energy architecture. The electric utility grid will be used only as backup.
So, there you have it. For all of the naysayers who think that fuel cells are just pie in the sky technology that will always be 20 years away in commercialization, the fact is fuel cells are being commercialized now. Fuel cells in forklifts, fuel cells to replace batteries for small electronic devices and large stationary fuel cells are all being commercialized now. The dominos are starting to fall and fuel cell cars are just a few short years away before that domino finally falls.