For the first time ever, fuel cells have become the most common technology employed in micro-CHP systems sold today. Until 2012, the global micro-CHP market was dominated by products powered by combustion engines but according to industry analysts Delta-ee, residential fuel cell now accounts for 64% of global unit sales. This represents a doubling of this technology’s market share since 2011.

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Even in a harsh economic climate, 2012 ended up a landmark year for the global micro-CHP industry, with a large increase in total annual sales. This growth is being driven mainly by Japan and to a lesser extent Germany, which together account for more than 90% of those yearly sales.

Changes in the political and regulatory landscape in Japan and Germany – both of which support a move towards decentralised energy generation – have been critical factors behind market growth. Japan is leading in residential fuel cell micro-CHP, although Germany should start contributing with sales within the next two years. If micro-CHP fulfils its potential, the manufacturers and developers in Japan and Germany will be best positioned to become the global leaders in the industry.

Micro-CHP enables consumers to heat their homes and simultaneously generate low carbon electricity that can be used within the home or exported to the grid.  It can save consumers money and contribute to Europe’s transition to a low carbon economy, whilst also supporting the growth of renewables, heat pumps and electric vehicles, by better balancing supply and demand and helping to stabilise the electricity grid.

More information on the Micro-CHP Research Service – and the ‘Micro-CHP Annual Market Roundup 2012’ report under which it is published – is available from