More fuel cells in boiler rooms

Positive interim result: According to the Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau (KfW), 1,100 grant applications were received for natural gas-powered fuel cells to generate heat and electricity by the end of July 2017. For almost a year the federal government has been subsidising their installation in private households, and the successful funding programme has been expanded to include companies and municipalities.

To further develop the technology and prove the marketability of the systems, a preparatory field test was carried out in the Callux project under the National Innovation Programme for Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Technology (NIP).

Natural gas-powered fuel cells are setting new standards in terms of efficiency and climate protection. No bigger than a fridge, they produce heat and electricity at the same time. The most efficient type of combined heat and power, compared to an old oil boiler they emit almost 60 per cent less CO2. Under the KfW 433 funding programme “Fuel cell subsidy”, 1,100 applications have been accepted for the installation of a fuel cell since the programme’s introduction in August 2016. The heating market is responsible for around 40 per cent of German CO2 emissions, with one third of heating systems in German basements outdated. Units with a power range of 0.25 to 5 kW electrical power will be subsidised. The grant consists of a fixed amount of 5,700 euro as well as a performance-related sum. Accordingly, for large fuel cell systems with an output of 5 kW, subsidies of up to 28,200 are feasible.