2019 saw continued positive progress. Last year, more than 4,000 Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration units were sold in Europe. This is a record number and an important step towards mass-marketisation of the technology in Europe. We are happy that the PACE project has strongly contributed to this number. So far, under the PACE project, 1,769 units have been sold across eight countries since October 2016, comprising 63% of units to be deployed under PACE. Over the same period, 973 units were commissioned. On the picture above, the green dots show where units under PACE have been commissioned (credits to Danish Technical University).
A notable element of this progress is that the majority of units sold during the second project period (particularly from July 2019 onwards) comprised of second generation (‘Generation Y’) technology. With these Generation Y units being manufactured with the objective of being cheaper for the consumer and easier to mass produce, this represents a large progression for the Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration market in Europe.
Individual manufacturers have taken strides over the past year. Viessmann, Bosch and SOLIDpower all launched Generation Y units throughout the first half of 2019; and Sunfire and BDR Thermea have both successfully prepared new Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration units. BDR Thermea launched its unit in November 2019 and Sunfire in January 2020. In addition, the project has been collecting encouraging information on the motivations of consumers to purchase Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration units. Initial results from an analysis of this information suggest both a lower total cost of ownership and expected environmental benefits (in both CO2 reduction and increased energy efficiency) to be the two major motivations for purchasing a Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration unit. This again suggests that the technology has a big role to play in the future of affordable and sustainable domestic energy in Europe. This is understood by customers in Europe who are actively supporting the deployment of innovative technologies that meet their needs while delivering cheaper and greener energy.