Fuel cell industry at crossroads

What does the future hold for fuel cells? According to Kerry-Ann Adamson of Pike Research either a rapid take off or a fatal crash landing. In recent articles she paints two widely diverging pictures of the industry. On the plus side, the number of fuel cells shipped between 2009 and the end of 2011 showed a 83% compound annual growth rate.

In addition, the recent interest in industry seminars could be indicating that the sector is finding its feet and will have sustainable sales within two years. In another scenario, prices fail to fall, shipments do not materialise and the industry dies.

Unfortunately, Adamson indicates that her colleagues and her currently think this is the more likely, and that the 63 companies which have developed or are developing technology in the US could be doomed. So what is the answer? According to Adamson, the industry needs to re-engage with venture capitalists by getting its house in order.

Realistic business plans, solid management and a better handle on exactly how much investment your company needs are a good starting point. In addition, says Adamson, companies need to work together and avoid mindless competition-bashing… and pool intelligence.

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