Several end-use industries, such as chemical, power generation, and automotive, are increasingly using planar solid oxide fuel cells (SOFCs) due to the various advantages offered by such cells, such as fuel adaptability, high efficiency, and low sulfur oxide (SOx) and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. The increasing adoption of these cells can be attributed to the surging enactment of stringent regulations in Germany, Japan, and the U.S. to curtail the generation of harmful emissions from such end-use industries. Additionally, these emission norms also aim to reduce the dependency of such countries on fossil fuels.
Moreover, the rapid development of alternative power generation technologies is expected to fuel the planar solid oxide fuel cell market at a CAGR of 11.4% during 2016–2022. The market was valued at $379.9 million in 2015 and it is projected to reach $804.9 million by 2022. Governments across the world are concerned about the depletion of non-renewable resources. To overcome this challenge, countries such as Germany, China, Japan, South Korea, and the U.S. are focusing on the development of planar SOFC technology by undertaking numerous research activities.
Additionally, the widening application base of SOFCs in the oil and gas industry will fuel the production of such products in the coming years. For example, the natural gas extracted on-site can be easily used as a fuel for direct fuel cell (DFC) power plants. Power generated at such plants can be used to support the extraction process. Moreover, the energy generated in DFC power plants is clean and can be injected underground for increased oil recovery.
According to P&S Intelligence, Asia-Pacific (APAC) dominated the planar solid oxide fuel cell market in the recent past, due to the wide-scale installation of such cells for power backup in Japan and South Korea, owing to the provision of subsidies for domestic production of fuel cells. Besides, the widening manufacturing base of the automotive industry in the region will create a huge requirement for planar SOFCs in the foreseeable future. In recent years, South Korea has become one of the leading consumers of SOFCs, due to the accelerating adoption rate of SOFC systems in the country.
Thus, the increasing shift toward alternative power production technologies and the surging focus of governments on renewable energy sources will augment the usage of SOFCs in the foreseeable future.