Fuel cell based micro-combined heat and power under different policy frameworks - An economic analysis

Lise-Lotte Pade Hansen, Sascha Thorsten Schröder

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    The residential fuel cell technology faces a list of challenges, of which some are linked to the technology through the need of cost decreases and reliability improvements. Others are linked to the political stage, where the necessary support schemes have to be in place in combination with clear political objectives on the design of the future energy system. This article takes the point of departure in the existing support schemes, most common ownership structures, energy prices, electricity demand and heating demand in Denmark, France and Portugal. For the three countries, we analyse different constellations of operational strategies, ownership structures and promotion schemes and assess the necessary support levels for residential fuel cells under these constellations. We find that the necessary support levels are not excessively high compared to the initial support levels for e.g. photovoltaic systems in Germany. Especially net metering in Denmark and price premiums for fuel cells functioning as a virtual power plant in France and Portugal seems promising. The annual number of operation hours depends strongly on the operational scheme. For thermal-led units, cold start and modulation capacity plays a certain role, whereas the fuel cell generates virtually permanently if it is part of a virtual power plant. © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
    Original languageEnglish
    JournalEnergy Conversion and Management
    Pages (from-to)295-303
    Publication statusPublished - 2013


    • Costs
    • Economic analysis
    • Gas fuel purification
    • Power plants
    • Fuel cells


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