Fuel Cell

Hydrogen Mobility and Stationary Solutions drive Decarbonization through Fuel Cell Technology


The urgent need for decarbonization in the face of climate change has driven the exploration of sustainable energy alternatives, with hydrogen emerging as a solid frontrunner. Fuel cell technology, which harnesses the power of hydrogen, is at the forefront of this revolution and offers a promising path to the decarbonization of both mobility and stationary energy solutions.

At its core, a hydrogen fuel cell generates electricity through an electrochemical reaction between hydrogen and oxygen, with water vapor and heat as the only by-products. This clean and efficient process distinguishes fuel cells from traditional combustion-based energy sources and positions them as a key player in the transition to a zero-emission or low-carbon economy.

Hydrogen Mobility:

Fuel cell vehicles (FCVs) have gained – and continue to gain – traction in the automotive sector as a clean and efficient alternative to traditional internal combustion engines. Hydrogen-powered vehicles emit only water vapor as a byproduct, making them a key player in reducing greenhouse gas emissions. FCVs address the limitations of battery-electric vehicles (BEVs) by providing longer ranges and faster refueling times, thereby eliminating the range anxiety associated with electric vehicles.

For these reasons, hydrogen-powered buses and trucks are increasingly being used for public transportation and freight haulage, demonstrating the versatility of fuel cell technology in different modes of transportation. To support the widespread adoption of hydrogen mobility, the development of a robust hydrogen refueling infrastructure is critical.

While trucks and buses are leading the development of heavy-duty hydrogen mobility, trains can also benefit from fuel cell technology. This is particularly relevant in areas lacking a power grid infrastructure where trains currently operate on diesel fuel.

Finally, zero-emission fuel cell technology can also be used in passenger vehicles. Some automakers are already marketing fuel cell electric models, while others are still in the testing and development phase. However, significant growth in the market for fuel cell electric passenger vehicles is less obvious in the short run, because the advantages of fuel cell electric vehicles over battery electric vehicles are less obvious than in the case of commercial and/or heavy-duty vehicles.

Stationary Hydrogen Solutions:

Beyond transportation, fuel cell technology is playing a key role in decarbonizing stationary energy solutions. Hydrogen fuel cells are being integrated into buildings, industrial facilities, construction equipment and power plants to provide a clean and reliable source of electricity. A notable advantage of fuel cells is their ability to provide continuous power, unlike intermittent renewable sources such as solar or wind power.

Stationary fuel cells are increasingly being successfully tested in microgrid applications, providing distributed and resilient power. This is particularly valuable in regions prone to grid disruptions or those seeking energy independence. In addition, the waste heat generated during the electrochemical process in fuel cells can be used for heating purposes, improving overall energy efficiency.

Fuel cells are also increasingly recognized as a viable solution for decarbonizing ship operations in ports. In addition to the use of the ship’s fossil-fueled engines, decarbonization may be achieved by so-called “cold ironing”. As far as the electrical connection allows it, this can be done directly via the grid. Stationary fuel cell applications can match intermittent renewable energy generation capacity with actual demand during port operations. The latter can be a key enabler for the decarbonization of vessel operations in ports.

Challenges and Outlook:

Despite promising potential, challenges to widespread fuel cell adoption remain. Hydrogen production, storage, and transportation face technological and infrastructure challenges. Cost and scalability issues must be addressed to make fuel cell technology economically competitive.

Similar to electrolyzers, fuel cells use rare materials such as palladium, titanium and platinum. In addition to the cost implications, it is critical that these materials be sourced from sustainable resources. Thanks to an increase in research and development efforts, the design and efficiency of fuel cells are being rapidly optimized, which is reducing the impact of these rare materials.

Looking ahead, continued research, government incentive programs, and development efforts are essential to overcome these challenges and further improve the efficiency and affordability of fuel cell systems. Collaboration between government, industry and research institutions will be critical to the creation of an environment conducive to the growth of hydrogen-based technologies.


Hydrogen-powered fuel cell technology is a key player on the path to decarbonization. Its applications in both mobility and stationary solutions offer a holistic approach to reducing carbon emissions across multiple sectors. With continued advances in technology and infrastructure, fuel cells are poised to play a pivotal role in shaping a sustainable and low-carbon future.