Under the patronage of Thomas Bareiß, Parliamentary State Secretary at the Federal Ministry of Transport and Digital Infrastructure, some 70 experts from politics and industry came together at the Fuel Cell Innovation Forum in Berlin on 10 October 2018 to discuss various issues including the potential of innovative fuel cell heating technology for achieving the so-called heating transition and the current challenges for establishing a sustainable market.

Around 40 percent of CO2 emissions are still attributable to buildings. Even today, highly efficient fuel cells can generate heat and electricity in the boiler room and thus achieve sustainable reductions in both emissions and energy costs. The high level of utilisation also has a long-lasting effect on the environmental balance: with a fuel cell device, CO2 emissions can be reduced by almost 50 percent. It also significantly reduces the financial impact as the energy costs of existing buildings and new buildings can be reduced by up to 35 percent with a fuel cell system. The KfW 433 “Fuel Cell Incentive Grant” (Zuschuss Brennstoffzelle) funding programme was introduced in 2016 in order to achieve a sustainable increase in the sale volume of fuel cell heating systems and thus assist in reducing product costs further. Since then, more than 3,600 funding applications have already been approved. According to Bareiß, the successful technology introduction programme will continue in its current form.

The market partners are also in demand, as the incentive programme must be accompanied by intensive communication efforts within the market. This requires, in particular, greater involvement and training of tradespeople and property developers. A decisive criterion for success will also be the extent to which manufacturers and policymakers succeed in reducing the current level of administrative efforts involved before and during the operation of micro-CHP plants.