Fuel cells broke the $1 billion market mark in 2012. There were sales of fuel cell system shipments of 124 MW, up 40 MW from 2011. The global fuel cell technology market revenue is estimated to reach $2.5 billion by 2018.
The global market for motive batteries used to power electric vehicles (EV) and other conveyances is set to rise to $47 billion in 2017, up more than 50% from $31 billion in 2013 (“Motive Batteries – World -2013” from IMS Research).
EOS Energy Storage has low cost zinc air batteries ($160/kWh) Lithium Sulfur batteries could scale to $65/kwh.
The global electricity market is a $2 trillion business. The energy storage market is $400-600 billion and will grow at 45-55% per year. Most grid scale energy storage is pumped hydro (125GW) with about 2GW split mostly sodium sulfur batteries and compressed air storage. Batteries seem to be poised to capture a lot more of the grid scale energy storage and have huge growth with electric cars and hybrid cars.
After batteries achieve competitive cost then the other factors of energy density and safety will matter.
Lower cost and high energy density batteries seem likely to squeeze out fuel cells except for rare niche markets.
Batteries with 1000-2000 Wh/kg will be competitive with or better than fuel cells on energy density.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
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