Stationary fuel cells are expected to become a commercial reality by 2010. This is the conclusion of a report by market analysts Frost & Sullivan that outlines that consistent R&D efforts are expected to yield dividends as fuel cells emerge as the preferred distributed generation technology, and to play a dominant role in redefining the European energy industry.

“The stationary fuel cell industry is currently in a demonstration and a product validation stage, where the focus is not only on product development but also on understanding the requirements of customers in order to enhance the product solution,” says Hema Sarathy, research analyst with Frost and Sullivan.

Currently major concerns revolve around enhancing the reliability and durability of fuel cells. The lack of robustness in current systems is affecting their performance in comparison with traditional technologies and high capital and operating costs are proving a deterrent to commercialisation.