The FCH JU on March 26 launched its Stationary Fuel cell Commercialisation Study, an impressive effort, bringing together 35 organisations, of which the main European fuel cells manufacturers, to map market potential and identify key areas of policy support. Market potential in four countries (UK, DK, DE and PL) and three areas (residential, commercial and industrial applications) were examined (see figure). Recommendations for policymakers included the obvious support of FC micro CHP and CHP in general, decarbonisation of (local) grids, reform EU eco labeling and tightening local emissions. Increasing a relative small amount of induatrial size systems (500) would make these systems competitive.

Distributed generation as such is already more fuel efficient than central generation. Distributed power and heat generation at the site of consumption means that there are no losses from energy transmission. Losses in the power transmission and distribution networks amount to 5-7% in Western Europe and are even higher in Eastern Europe where grid infrastructure tends to be older. Thus, the avoidance of power transmission losses raises the efficiency edge of distributed generation compared to large central power plants. As a case in point, the diagram illustrates the difference in primary energy consumption between a household with an integrated fuel cell micro-CHP solution for distributed generation of power and heat compared to a household supplied exclusively by grid power with a state of-the-art gas condensing boiler.

The day before the event, the EU Commission announced legal action in all EU Member States accept Malta to ensure compliance with the Energy Efficiency Directive