Panasonic will start selling pure hydrogen fuel cell generators with zero emissions in China in April in an effort to spur demand for the permanent replacement of solar panels for businesses and factories.
Shigeru Dohno, president of Panasonic Holdings’ China & Northeast Asia division, made the announcement at the firm’s battery plant in the city of Wuxi on Friday. “Our company is ahead of the pack in creating this technology, and will continue to lead the way in sales,” he added.
The plant, which will serve as a showroom for the technology, began producing fuel cells that day, and Panasonic celebrated with a ceremony.
Chemical interaction between hydrogen and oxygen produces energy in hydrogen fuel cells. They are better than solar panels in that they don’t release carbon dioxide and can provide electricity whenever it is needed. They also take up less area than solar panels.
The first standalone fuel cell systems will go on sale in Europe in April thanks to Panasonic’s collaboration with German heating systems manufacturer Viessmann.
The fuel cells, along with other amenities including research labs, were placed in a housing estate in the Harumi neighborhood of Tokyo and put on sale in Japan in October 2021.
One issue is the expensive cost of hydrogen fuel, though it is anticipated that costs will decline as demand increases, notably for refueling fuel cells in automobiles.
The market for them won’t take off for three to five years, according to Dohno.
In China, there are roughly 100 businesses engaged in hydrogen fuel cell operations. According to Dohno, the majority of them work on fuel cells for automobiles rather than standalone models for residences or companies.