NRI Papers
No.80 September 1, 2004
  Fuel Cells:Business Opportunities and Issues to Be Resolved  
Tomohide KAZAMA
       Many companies are in a rush toward the development of fuel cells. However, since they are being too hasty in commercializing fuel cell products, there are some areas in which technological progress cannot keep pace. While the market is nearing take-off, the pace of fuel cell penetration is not as fast as was anticipated, and the market size in 2010 is projected to be several hundred billion yen.
        Japan has many companies (comprehensive manufacturers) whose business fields cover the production of not only fuel cells but also equipment that uses fuel cells. The requirements for these companies to achieve success include (i) quick commercialization of high-performance fuel cells and (ii) securing sales capabilities for equipment that use fuel cells. For portable-use fuel cell systems, an added factor is (iii) expanding business fields to include fuel sales.
       In particular, requirement (ii) is important for home-use fuel cell comprehensive manufacturers. Now that joint development partners with gas companies have been determined, the keys to success consist of securing domestic sales channels, such as LPG (liquefied petroleum gas) and kerosene companies and housing manufacturers, and overseas business evolution. To achieve requirements (ii) and (iii), portable-use fuel cell comprehensive manufacturers should not only engage in the production of fuel cells to be mounted on existing equipment, but also in the creation of new equipment to make the best use of fuel cells.
Contents
I Fuel Cells Garner Increased Attention as the Next-Generation Power Source
  1 Expectations toward Developing a Huge Market
  2 What Are Fuel Cells?
  3 Why Fuel Cells?
II Fuel Cells Entering the Phase of a Burgeoning Market
  1 Home-Use Fuel Cells at the Last Stage Immediately before Commercialization
  2 Mobile-Use Fuel Cells Also to Be Commercialized in 2005
  3 Fuels Cells for Automobiles Already Available on the Market
  4 As Stationary Fuel Cells, SOFC Systems to Be Commercialized in 2005
III Issues Facing the Commercialization of Fuel Cells
  1 Catching Up with Existing Technologies
  2 Three Topics to Be Dealt with in Preparation for Commercialization
  3 Fuel Prices Hindering the Prospect of Business Feasibility
IV Size of Fuel Cell Market
  1 Fuel Cell Cars Replacing Electric Cars
  2 Japanese Market Is Most Promising for Home-Use Fuel Cells
  3 Mobile-Use Fuel Cells Target High-Grade Business-Use Models
V Success Factors for Fuel Cell Manufacturers
  1 Securing Sales Capabilities for Equipment That Uses Fuel Cells
  2 Expanding Business Fields to Include Fuel Sales

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