Explaining the lack of dynamics in the diffusion of small stationary fuel cells

Bert Droste-Franke, Jörg Krüger, Stephan Lingner & Thomas Ziesemer


Using the reaction of hydrogen with oxygen to water in order to produce electricity and heat, promises a high electrical efficiency even in small devices which can be installed close to the consumer. This approach seems to be an impressive idea to contribute to a viable future energy supply under the restrictions of climate change policy. Major reasons currently hampering the diffusion of such technologies for house energy supply in Germany are analysed in this paper. The barriers revealed, include high production costs as well as economic and legal obstacles for installing the devices so that they can be operated in competition to central power plants, beside others in tenancies.

Keywords: fuel cell; diffusion process; valuation of environmental effects; technological innovation

JEL classifications: K12,O33,Q51,Q55

UNU-MERIT Working Papers ISSN 1871-9872