Fuel cells are a type of electrochemical cell which helps to convert chemical energy into electricity through electrochemical reaction. Fuel cells require continuous flow of fuel and oxygen to operate the electrochemical reaction. These type of fuel cells witness growing demand in different types of aircrafts specified for commercial and military operations.
The global aircraft fuel cell market is witnessing rapid growth in recent years. Rising population coupled with increasing disposable income raises business activity, thus accelerating demand for air travel. Moreover, numerous countries apart from the U.S. and Russia are increasing their defense spending and this fosters the growth of the aircraft fuel cell market. Rising investment in the aviation sector is expected to increase the demand for fuel cells during the forecast period. Technological innovation is a boon to the aviation industry and this facilitates huge advancement in the production technology of fuel cells. Technological advancement reduces the requirement for platinum used in the proton exchange membrane fuel cell and that reduces the price of fuel cells considerably. Decrease in the price of fuel cells is a major driving factor for the growth potential of the aircraft fuel cell market. Installation of fuel cells helps to generate heat and thermal energy from waste heat which is produced through exothermic reaction. Hence, installation of fuel cells helps to produce heat and thermal energy that is a popular mechanism for saving cost of energy substantially. This type of energy is used in transportation systems. Thus fuel cells help to generate different types of energy and this is expected to boost the demand for fuel cells over the forecast period.
Production of fuel cells causes greenhouse gases and aggravates the severity of global warming. Generation of fuel cells requires a large amount of energy than it actually is able to produce. Extensive energy requirement for the production process of fuel cells makes its production expensive and this factor is likely to restraint the potential growth prospect of this market over the forecast period.
With the rising concern for the environment, government and aviation associations implement measures to cut down the emission of greenhouse gases. Many economies have adopted smart energy and fuel cell technology for the production of energy more efficiently. Adoption of fuel cell technology reduces carbon emission, thus fostering the efficiency of aircraft operation. Reduced level of greenhouse emission and eco-friendly production technique is expected to propel the market opportunity of aircraft fuel cell market over the forecast period.
On the basis of end users, the global aircraft fuel cell market is segmented into aviation and defense industries. Defense industry held the leading market share. This type of aircraft fuel cells are extensively used in the defense industry for producing energy. This technology reduces the amount of oil import and provides 100% efficiency as aviation fuel energy. It fulfills the energy requirement of aircrafts during wars and reduces the chances of aircraft accidents. This modern technology thus improves the air defense segment of an economy and this factor is expected to boost the demand for aircraft fuel cells over the forecast period.
Based on geographic locations, the global aircraft fuel cell market is segmented into five regions - North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, Middle East & Africa (MEA), and Latin America. Asia Pacific held the dominant market share owing to the rising investment in the aviation and defense sector by emerging economies such as China, India, South Korea and others. With the growing level of greenhouse gases, this region implements measures to cut down greenhouse gas emissions and this factor is propelling the growth prospect of the aircraft fuel cell market. With the steady increase in the number of aircrafts, the aircraft fuel cell market is likely to see a steady growth rate during the forecast period.
Some of the key players in the aircraft fuel cell market include Ballard Power Systems, Serenergy, Hydrogenics, Boeing, Airbus and others.
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