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Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Market

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Market: Information by Application (Portable, Stationary), End-Users (Data Centers, Military & Defense), and Region — Forecast till 2030

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Market Snapshot

market snapshot
Base Year:
Study Period:
40.1 %
Fastest Growing Market:
North America
Largest Market:

The global solid oxide fuel cells market size was valued at USD 341.29 million in 2021, and it is anticipated to reach USD 7096.87 million by 2030 at a CAGR of 40.1%. Solid oxide fuel cells are a type of electrochemical device used in various industries to generate electricity by oxidizing fuel. These fuel cells are made of solid oxide. These devices are built with ceramic or solid metal oxides as electrolytes, which allows them to conduct ions between the cell's cathode and anode.

In addition, the systems are built to endure high temperatures while in operation. They can provide an optimal output while using various fuels, including hydrogen, natural gas, propane, and a variety of other clean fuels, as well as blends. In addition, most of the units get their power from hydrogen, which ensures no emissions are produced during operation; the only byproducts are heat and water vapour.

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Market Dynamics

Global Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Market Drivers

  • The increasing installation of renewable energy technologies will be favourable for market expansion

One of the primary forces driving the growth of the solid oxide fuel cell (SOFC) market is the rising awareness that harmful carbon emissions must be reduced and the rising implementation of low-carbon technologies. Several nations have outlined their plans to meet the growing need for energy through environmentally friendly power generation methods, emphasizing expanding the potential for fuel cell deployment. For example, the International Energy Agency (IEA) published its Global Energy Review 2021 in April 2021. In this report, the IEA stated that in the year 2020, the utilization of clean energy increased by approximately 3%, while electricity generation from renewable sources increased by approximately 7%. In addition, it was claimed that demand for many other essential fuels fell during the same period.

  • Massive Goals Set by Governments to Reduce Their Dependence on Fossil Fuels to Support Expansion

The devices are easily implemented as a dependable power source for various verticals, including stationary, transportable, and portable applications. The units provide an output that is clean, dependable, and efficient in terms of energy use to meet the constantly growing demand. A sizeable increase in inattention to adopting green power production methods is anticipated to promote product demand. In addition to the enormous hydrogen and other renewable aims to keep a lid on the rising levels of greenhouse gases, it will propel product demand. For instance, the government of South Korea created a new policy in January 2019 called the Hydrogen Economy Roadmap, which is committed to articulating the objectives for H2 technologies. According to the policy, the nation plans to install 1,200 hydrogen refuelling stations and produce 6.2 million fuel cell electric vehicles (FCEVs) before 2040. In addition, the strategy aims to produce approximately 15 gigawatts worth of fuel cell devices designed specifically for stationary power generation by the target year.

Global Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Market Restraints

  • SOFC requires a high initial investment

For the electro-catalytic oxidation of methane, LP gas, and other natural gas-based fuels to produce electricity, SOFC is a complicated integration of several chemical ingredients. Since the fundamental chemical reaction is exothermic, SOFC usually runs at extremely high temperatures, typically between 700°C and 1,200°C. At these temperatures, conventional ceramic electrolytes are inefficient. Hence yttria-stabilized zirconia (YSZ) is needed as an electrolyte. Additionally, a US research institution's investigation found that using YSZ composite electrodes along with the electrolyte improves cell performance even more. Zirconium is an element with characteristics similar to titanium and a very high melting point of 1,852°C. However, the price of zirconium is nearly twice as high per unit as regular ceramic-based electrolytes. It raises the price of manufacturing and installing fuel cells, a significant barrier to this market's growth.

Global Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Market Opportunities

  • Increasing end-user adoption in data centres and the defence industry

In the US, data centres are the end-users of the power generation application expanding at the highest rate. A data centre requires a significant amount of power to operate. Additionally, data centres need a constant power supply around-the-clock to prevent the loss of essential data. The IEEE Communications Society estimates that the global electricity demand from data centres in 2018 was approximately 198 terawatt-hours or 1% of global electricity demand. Due to the high power usage, data centres choose to save costs by implementing distributed power generation, notably fuel cells. In the past, SOFC and other fuel cells have experienced rapid growth in the US. The US SOFC industry has experienced the strongest growth due to Google, IBM, and Equinix adopting SOFC for their data centres. One of the most lucrative end-use markets for SOFC is the data centre industry, where SOFC adoption is minimal relative to the total number of data centres in the US.

The military's production of stationary and mobile electricity by SOFC is increasing. Additionally, there is a market opportunity for SOFC in this sector due to the demand for efficient and noiseless power production for military applications. With increased chances for this market's continued expansion, it is anticipated that SOFC portable applications for military use will advance.

Segmental Overview

The global market for solid oxide fuel cells is divided into three parts based on application, product and region. Further, by application, the market is divided into Portable, Stationary and Transportation. In 2021, the stationary application segment held the market's top spot and represented 81.35% of total sales. One of the least polluting and most efficient ways of generating heat and power is through the use of a stationary solid oxide fuel cell system. Three significant factors—net electrical efficiency, total efficiency in the case of cogeneration, and robustness—are used to evaluate how well these systems function.

Solid oxide fuel cell research and development are receiving significant funding from European nations, including France and the UK, for transportation and energy production. The reasons mentioned above are anticipated throughout the forecast period to support the stationary application segment's expansion in the SOFC market.

Based on the end-users, the market is segmented into Data Centres, Military & Defence, Commercial and Others. Due to the growing demand for on-site clean energy to meet various establishments' abruptly rising electricity consumption, the commercial segment is expected to have a leading market share.

Additionally, developing new and cutting-edge data centres to upgrade the network infrastructure across emerging and developed nations is anticipated to benefit the data centres segment throughout the projected period. The increased employment of uncrewed aerial vehicles and subsea vehicles with improved power characteristics and longer operating times is another factor driving the military & defence end-use industry.

According to region, the market is broken down into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world. Asia-Pacific dominated the market.

Regional Insights

According to the region, the global solid oxide fuel cell market is broken down into North America, Europe, Asia-Pacific and the rest of the world.

Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Market Regional Analysis

Regional Growth Insights Request Sample Pages

In 2021, the Asia-Pacific region held a disproportionately large 46.78% of global revenue. The Asia-Pacific region, with Japan as its hub, is expected to require a major share of the world's capacity in the coming years. In Asia-Pacific, solid oxide fuel cells are most widely used in stationary markets. The market is anticipated to experience the highest growth rate during the period.

Regulations are still being developed in nations like India, Singapore, and Malaysia to promote the expansion of alternative energy industries. The need for solid oxide fuel cells in India, Thailand, and Singapore is being driven by government agencies and research organizations experimenting with how long solid oxide fuel cells can operate. During the projected period, these factors are anticipated to fuel the expansion of the SOFC market in the area.

In North America, stationary markets account for most wide-scale applications for solid oxide fuel cells. The market is anticipated to experience the highest growth rate during the period. Due to strong government support and a strategic market focus, the solid oxide fuel cell market in the United States has expanded tremendously. It is increasing rapidly relative to the rest of the world.

One of the major markets in Europe for SOFC applications is Germany. The German government's well-organized energy programs and specific goals can be ascribed to it. The energy policies also dictate how solid oxide fuel cell-related technologies will develop in the future.

Key Manufacturers in the Market

  • Mitsubishi Power Ltd.
  • General Electric
  • Fuel Cell Energy Inc.
  • Cummins Inc.
  • Ceres
  • KYOCERA Corporation
  • Bloom Energy
  • AVL
  • Watt Fuel Cell Corporation
  • Ningbo SOFCMAN Energy.

Recent Developments

  • In June 2022, to help ANRPC achieve its decarbonization goals, Mitsubishi Power, a potent brand of Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Ltd. (MHI), engaged in a complete turnkey agreement to deliver cutting-edge hydrogen fuel conversion technology solutions.
  • In December 2021, on-site power maker Cummins Inc established a new hydrogen-based research and development facility in northern California.
  • In June 2022, it was announced by WATT Fuel Cell Corp ("WATT") that their new 1500W ImperiumR Solid Oxide Fuel Cell System achieved ETL certification to run on either natural gas or liquid propane gas. The system meets North American safety requirements according to its ETL certification.

Global Solid Oxide Fuel Cell Market: Segmentation

By Application

  • Portable
  • Stationary
  • Transportation

By End-Users

  • Data Centers
  • Military & Defense
  • Commercial
  • Others

By Region

  • North America
  • Europe
  • Asia-Pacific
  • Rest of the world
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