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I attended the Fuel Cell Expo, part of Japan’s 14th World Smart Energy Week conference and exhibition in Tokyo, mainly so that I could talk about the situation here in Europe. I presented the findings of a new study led by Delta-ee on business models for the stationary fuel cell market, which was funded by the Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Joint Undertaking.
At the same time, the Expo is the place to go for an update on what’s happening in the world’s most established market for fuel cells and micro-CHP. This post gives some of my key highlights from the fair, which centre on connectivity, competition and commercialisation.
The first of our two-part blog on the state global micro-CHP market provides a run-through of the key events that shaped the outcome in 2015 – taken from the Delta-ee ‘Micro-CHP Annual Roundup and Market Outlook’ report.
2015 was the year of the first ‘double-dip’ in the micro-CHP market
I have just returned from the IEA Heat Pump Centre Conference in Montreal, Canada, where I was impressed by the extent of new heat pump R&D and development – some of which is indicative of a new generation of heat pumps which could be commercialised over the next few years. I also gave a presentation on developments in Europe regarding smart heat pumps and the value to the customer which you can access here. While the papers presented at the conference illustrated the global extent of advancement of heat pump technologies and markets, I noted clear evidence that Asia in particular is ahead of the curve in terms of driving HP R&D - especially Japan and Korea but with China emerging fast. Developments in these markets are being driven by strong government energy efficiency targets in response to security of supply concerns, spiralling demand and a need for energy conservation. This is supporting a massive amount of support for heat pump R&D in Japan, China and South Korea in order to deliver ambitious targets regarding efficiency improvements - and in some cases cost reduction. Looking at the way Japanese companies have already significantly influenced the competitive landscape in the European heat pump market in the last few years, and from seeing the research presented at this Conference, it is difficult to see this trend changing – the difference now is that we see a much stronger presence from Korea and China than before. European (and other international) manufacturers should take note of this increasing competition! Here are some of the topics picked up at the conference which we will be watching closely in future Heat Pump Research Service and wider work…
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