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Ceramic Fuel Cells makes progress in Germany


Ceramic Fuel Cells yesterday announced the sale of 200 of its units to German utility EWE, thanks to a German government hydrogen and fuel cell development program.

The Ceramic Fuel Cell units function like a tiny household power station, converting gas into heat for hot water and household use and electricity.

That distributed generation is much more efficient than the conventional distant power station, which sees a lot of energy and electricity disappear along the way.

Unfortunately, Ceramic Fuel Cells have got a better response in Europe than at home here in Australia, which only gives advantages such as feed-in tariffs and subsidies to renewables such as solar and wind.

Many experts, including the Boston Consulting Group, have pointed to distributed generation using smart meters and networks as a key innovation that will dramatically improve energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

As sales of the ceramic fuel cell units get cheaper with mass production, they should progress from a niche product that suits remote locations to an everyday household solution for cheaper power. The current high pricing for these units in Australia make the technology completely unviable; with a payback time of around 20 years.


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