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Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Market for Stationary Application Size, Share & Industry Analysis, By End-User (Power Plants, Data Centers, Steel Industry, Healthcare, Marine Port, Chemical Industry, Commercial & Industrial, and Others), and Regional Forecast, 2024-2032

Last Updated: April 01, 2024 | Format: PDF | Report ID: FBI109182



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The global proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market for stationary application size was valued at USD 323.52 million in 2023. The market is projected to grow from USD 558.05 million in 2024 to USD 2,873.19 million by 2032, exhibiting a CAGR of 22.73% during the forecast period.

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) is a type of fuel cell that generates electricity by combining hydrogen and oxygen through an electrochemical reaction. Hydrogen is supplied through the anode, and oxygen enters through the cathode. At the anode, hydrogen molecules gets split into protons and electrons, where protons move through a membrane while the electrons create an electric current. The membrane only allows protons to pass, forcing electrons through an external circuit and generating electricity.

PEMFCs are known for their high power density, quick startup, and suitability for various applications, including transportation and stationary power generation. This is due to their efficiency, low emissions, and potential for using hydrogen as a clean energy source.

The COVID-19 pandemic created numerous challenges in the development of the global proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) for the stationary application market. PEMFC is mainly utilized for providing backup power and energy storage solutions to residential, commercial, and industrial applications. The demand for PEMFC was negatively impacted due to the shutting down of several end-user businesses, specifically in the commercial and industrial sectors. In addition, disruptions in the supply chain hindered the manufacturing and distribution of PEMFC components and systems, causing delays and increased costs.

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Market for Stationary Application Trends

Robust Growth in Data Centers to Surge the Demand for Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) Fuel Cells

During the historical years, there has been a huge rise in the number of establishments for data centers across the globe owing to the expanding IT and telecommunications industries. The growth in these industries, supported by the rising Internet of Things (IoT) devices, mandates the requirement of data centers for processing, storing, and analyzing the data generated by these devices and industries.

The rollout of 5G networks is expected to generate more data as compared to 4G & 3G networks due to its high speed. Thus, the huge potential market for the growth of data centers would require a continuous supply of electricity, further providing an opportunity for the expansion of the PEM fuel cells market. For instance, in July 2022, Microsoft announced the installation of a 3MW hydrogen fuel cell backup power plant for its data center located in New York, the U.S.

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Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Market for Stationary Application Growth Factors

Growing Need for Clean Energy in Power Generation to Augment the Product Demand

The growing need for clean energy solutions across the globe to control greenhouse emissions and promote sustainability is driving the demand for proton exchange membrane fuel cells in stationary applications. The global greenhouse gas emission has continuously been on the rise owing to the growing population, industrial activities, and electricity production worldwide. According to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the total greenhouse emissions in 2021 have been 6,340 million metric tons of CO₂ equivalent, for which electricity production has been accountable for around 25% of emissions. Proton exchange membrane fuel cells offer a zero-emission energy solution, producing electricity with only water and heat as byproducts, which directly supports the global objective of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and mitigating the effects of climate change.

Rising Government Initiatives for Expanding Power Generation Capacity to Fuel the Market Growth

The requirement for power and electricity is continuously growing across the globe due to the surging population and expansion of residential, commercial, and industrial sectors. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), the total energy consumption across the globe increased to about 2% in 2023 and is expected to rise further to around 3.3% in 2024. To cater to this growing power demand, the governments of various countries such as India, Saudi Arabia, China, Brazil, and others are undertaking various initiatives and investments to expand their power generation capacities.

Moreover, for the expansion of the power generation capacities, the governments of the countries are primarily focused on renewable energy sources to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050, as discussed in the Paris Agreement. For instance, in 2023, Ballard Power Systems agreed to deliver PEM fuel cells to CrossWind, a joint venture between Shell & Eneco, for its installation in the Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind project.

Thus, rising government initiatives for expanding power generation capacity can serve as a significant driver of the proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market for stationary application growth.


High Cost Associated with Manufacturing of PEMFC to Restrain the Market Growth

The high cost incurred for the development of proton exchange membranes (PEM) has been a restraining factor when it comes to their adoption in stationary applications. PEM fuel cells use precious metals such as platinum as catalysts in the electrode layers, which play a key role in the electrochemical reactions that occur within the fuel cell. Precious metals are expensive and the high material cost increases the overall development cost. The cost of the catalyst used in the manufacturing of 80KW PEMFC is around USD 160, which turns the overall development cost of the PEMFC of 80KW to USD 1700.

Additionally, the proton exchange membrane itself is made from specialized materials (polymer membranes) which can also be costly. The membrane must maintain high proton conductivity while ensuring chemical and mechanical stability.

Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Market for Stationary Application Segmentation Analysis

By End User Analysis

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Power Plant Segment Dominated the Market Due to Growing Installation of Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cells (PEMFCs) for Backup Power

Based on end-user, the market is segmented into power plants, data centers, steel industry, healthcare, marine port, chemical industry, commercial & residential, and others.

The power plant segment held largest share in 2023 owing to the growing requirement for backup power solutions during emergencies. Additionally, the demand for continuous and uninterrupted energy is rapidly increasing across the globe. According to the International Energy Association (IEA), the global energy demand rose by 6% in 2021. With this increasing demand, interruptions and fluctuations are also increasing in the energy supply, further fueling the demand for PEMFCs.


Geographically, the market is studied across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the rest of the world.

North America Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Market for Stationary Application Size, 2023 (USD Million)

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North America accounts for a majority of the global proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market for stationary application share. The region consists of some of the leading countries in the PEMFC market (U.S. and Canada), which has made it a dominant region in this market. These countries exhibit the presence of leading manufacturers such as Ballard Power, Nuvera Fuel Cell, Plug Power, and others. Additionally, the application of PEMFC has mainly been witnessed in stationary sectors such as data centers for providing backup power. Its application has also been witnessed in power plants for providing backup power during power outages and intermittency.

Asia Pacific is estimated to grow significantly during the forecast period. The growth in the deployment of PEMFC is positively impacted in the region owing to the high adoption of research and development activities in countries such as China, Japan, and South Korea. These regions have also witnessed some of the leading large-scale hydrogen projects, which would also support the integration of PEMFC. Furthermore, Japan and South Korea comprise more than half of the 11 GW of global fuel cell manufacturing capacity, subsequently pushing the market growth.

The Europe market for proton exchange membrane fuel cells is witnessing steady growth due to the stringent rules and regulations framed by the European Union and governments of other countries for limiting carbon emissions and promoting clean energy solutions, which would drive the adoption of PEMFC in stationary applications in the coming years. The European Commission has considered fuel cells a strategic net-zero industry and has launched a policy framework to promote the EU-based advanced manufacturing of fuel cells.

The regions in the rest of the world are expected to witness gradual growth during the forecast period. Research and development has been restricted to some countries due to limited availability of resources, funds, investment, and other factors. The research & development related to hydrogen infrastructure and fuel cells has been limited to countries such as Mexico, Brazil, and the GCC. Government initiatives focused on boosting renewable hydrogen production for its utilization as a cleaner fuel in transportation, stationary, and other sectors is estimated to drive the market expansion.

List of Key Companies in Proton Exchange Membrane Fuel Cell (PEMFC) Market for Stationary Application

Leading Players Are Continuously Advancing and Developing PEMFC Systems To Fortify Their Market Positions

Plug Power, one of the major players in the Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology market, has a worldwide presence, with partnerships and projects in Europe, North America, and Asia. The company has been offering and developing its proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for several applications such as transportation, stationary power generation, and others. Other players are also offering its proton exchange membrane fuel cell technology for several applications like transportation, stationary power generation, and many more.

Some of other players active in the market Doosan, Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology BV, TW Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, etc. Due to the high production in various application the players will strengthen their industry position.

  • In June 2023, Plug Power announced the supply of 8 MW of hydrogen fuel cell stationary power to Energy Vault Holdings, Inc., for delivering clean energy to the city of Calistoga, located in California Wine Country, during times of wildfires and other emergencies. It would be the largest planned hydrogen-powered fuel cell installation in the U.S.


  • Plug Power Inc. (U.S.)

  • Cummins Inc. (U.S.)

  • Toshiba Corporation (Japan)

  • TW Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies (Singapore)

  • Nedstack Fuel Cell Technology BV (Netherlands)

  • ElringKlinger AG (Germany)

  • Intelligent Energy Limited (U.K.)

  • Ballard Power Systems (Canada)

  • Nuvera Fuel Cells, LLC (U.S.)

  • Johnson Matthey (U.K.)


  • October 2023 – TW Horizon launched a containerized 2MW PEM fuel cell “Combined Heat and Power” (CHP) system and targets the installation of stationary power plants up to 100MW across the globe.

  • July 2023 - Nedstack entered a partnership with AVL for the sampling, manufacturing trials, and testing services of Nedstack’s 3rd generation PEMFC cell, which has been under development since 2017. The third-generation stack platform will enhance the development of PEM fuel cell technology, offering unparalleled power and durability in stationary and maritime environments.

  • July 2023 - Cummins Inc. announced the buyout of 19% interest of Air Liquide’s in Hydrogenics Corporation. Hydrogenics Corp. was earlier acquired by Cummins in 2019, which added key fuel cell and electrolyzer technologies to Cummins’ portfolio. 

  • May 2023 - Plug Power launched a new high-power stationary fuel cell system for charging commercial electric vehicle (EV) fleets. The 18,000-gallon liquid hydrogen tank combined with a megawatt-scale PEM fuel cell solution would provide more than 60 megawatt hours (MWh) of energy, which can charge more than 600 EVs.

  • January 2023 - Ballard Power Systems agreed to deliver PEM fuel cells to CrossWind, a joint venture between Shell & Eneco, for its installation in the Hollandse Kust Noord offshore wind project.


The report provides a detailed analysis of the market and focuses on key aspects such as leading companies and major end-users of the product. Besides, the report offers insights into the market trends and highlights key industry developments. In addition to the factors above, the report encompasses several factors that contributed to the growth of the market in recent years.

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Report Scope & Segmentation



Study Period


Base Year


Estimated Year


Forecast Period


Historical Period


Growth Rate

CAGR of 22.73% from 2024 to 2032


Value (USD Million)


By End-User and By Region



By End-User

  • Power Plants

  • Data Center

  • Steel Industry

  • Healthcare

  • Marine Port

  • Chemical Industry

  • Commercial & Residential

  • Others

By Region

  • North America (By End-user and By Country)

    • U.S. (By End-user)

    • Canada (By End-user)

  • Europe (By End-user and By Country)

    • U.K. (By End-user)

    • Germany (By End-user)

    • France (By End-user)

    • Netherlands (By End-user)

    • Rest of the Europe (By End-user)

  • Asia Pacific (By End-user and By Country)

    • China (By End-user)

    • South Korea (By End-user)

    • Japan (By End-user)

    • Rest of Asia Pacific (By End-user)

  • Rest of the World (By End-user)


Frequently Asked Questions

A study by Fortune Business Insights states that the global market was USD 323.52 million in 2023.

The North America proton exchange membrane fuel cell (PEMFC) market for stationary application stood at USD 146.52 million in 2023.

Based on end user, the power plant segment held a dominating share of the global market.

The global market size is expected to reach USD 2,873.19 million by 2032.

The growing need for clean energy in power generation is one of the key factors driving the market expansion.

Plug Power Inc., Cummins, TW Horizon Fuel Cell Technologies, and Ballard Power Systems are some of the top players actively operating in the market.

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