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An Increasing Number of Fuel Cell Companies Will Reach Profitability in 2013, According to Navigant Research

An Increasing Number of Fuel Cell Companies Will Reach Profitability in 2013, According to Navigant Research

BOULDER, Colo.--(BUSINESS WIRE)-- The fuel cell industry has been dogged by high expectations and disappointing results, leading to claims that profitability in this sector remains a distant, and possibly unachievable, goal. Nevertheless, one company, Intelligent Energy, recently posted an overall profit for 2012. According to a new white paper from Navigant Research, an increasing number of companies will reach the profitability threshold in 2013, while annual installed capacity in the stationary fuel cell sector will surpass 200 megawatts (MW). The white paper, which details ten key trends for the fuel cell market in 2013, is available for free download on Navigant Research’s website.

“The fuel cell and hydrogen industries had a dynamic year in 2012,” says Kerry-Ann Adamson, research director for Navigant Research. “The move toward profitability marks a significant step forward for the industry, and will help to unlock further investment and foster growth of this high-potential sector.”

In 2012, fewer than five companies were selling a fuel cell system at a profit. Fewer than four companies were earnings before tax (EBITDA) profitable, and none were making an overall profit. By contrast, in 2013 Navigant Research expects an increase to almost 15 companies with profit per system sold, as well as an increase in the number of companies making EBITDA profit.

The ten key trends for 2013, according to the white paper, are:

  • Annual installed capacity from the stationary fuel cell sector will top 200 MW
  • Funding pace for hydrogen refueling stations will increase in Europe and Asia Pacific
  • An increasing number of companies will nudge toward overall profitability
  • Private equity and corporate investments from Russia, South Africa, and Asia Pacific will rise
  • Independent power producer and energy service company partnerships with utilities will increase (also one of Navigant Research’s top ten trends in 2012)
  • Global revenue from the fuel cell sector will exceed $2 billion
  • Platinum and palladium shipments into the fuel cell industry will increase
  • The strongest shipment increase will occur with islanding-capable systems
  • Market penetration for fuel cell vehicles will remain low
  • Progress in the portable fuel cell sector will remain slow

The white paper, “The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industries: 10 Trends to Watch in 2013 and Beyond”, presents the ten most notable and important trends for the next 12 months in the fuel cell and hydrogen industries, focusing on capacity and revenue generation, business model evolution, and the maturation of the key companies within the sector. A full copy of the white paper is available for free download on the Navigant Research website.

About Navigant Research

Navigant Research, the dedicated research arm of Navigant, provides market research and benchmarking services for rapidly changing and often highly regulated industries. In the energy sector, Navigant Research focuses on in-depth analysis and reporting about global clean technology markets. The team’s research methodology combines supply-side industry analysis, end-user primary research and demand assessment, and deep examination of technology trends to provide a comprehensive view of the Smart Energy, Smart Utilities, Smart Transportation, Smart Industry, and Smart Buildings sectors. Additional information about Navigant Research can be found at

About Navigant

Navigant (NYSE: NCI  ) is a specialized, global expert services firm dedicated to assisting clients in creating and protecting value in the face of critical business risks and opportunities. Through senior level engagement with clients, Navigant professionals combine technical expertise in Disputes and Investigations, Economics, Financial Advisory and Management Consulting, with business pragmatism in the highly regulated Construction, Energy, Financial Services and Healthcare industries to support clients in addressing their most critical business needs. More information about Navigant can be found at

* The information contained in this press release concerning the report, “The Fuel Cell and Hydrogen Industries: 10 Trends to Watch in 2013 and Beyond,” is a summary and reflects Navigant Research’s current expectations based on market data and trend analysis. Market predictions and expectations are inherently uncertain and actual results may differ materially from those contained in this press release or the report. Please refer to the full report for a complete understanding of the assumptions underlying the report’s conclusions and the methodologies used to create the report. Neither Navigant Research nor Navigant undertakes any obligation to update any of the information contained in this press release or the report.

Navigant Research
Richard Martin
Laverne Murach

KEYWORDS:   United States  North America  Colorado


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