Identifying Business Opportunities for Green Innovations

A quantitative foundation for accelerated micro-fuel cell diffusion in residential buildings

Residential buildings
  • News 19.04.2018

Combined heat and power (CHP) production in buildings is one of the mitigation options available for achieving a considerable decrease in GHG emissions. Micro-CHP (mCHP) fuel cells are capable of cogenerating electricity and heat very efficiently on a decentralised basis. "Although they offer clear environmental benefits and have the potential to create a systemic change in energy provision, the diffusion of mCHP fuel cells is rather slow," says Katrin Bienge, Project Co-ordinator (Division Sustainable Production and Consumption, Wuppertal Institute). There are numerous potential drivers for the successful diffusion of fuel cell cogeneration units, but key economic actors are often unaware of them.

The paper "Identifying business opportunities for green innovations" presents the results of a comprehensive analysis of barriers, drivers and business opportunities surrounding micro-CHP fuel-cell units (up to 5 kWel) in the German building sector. Business opportunities have been identified based not only on quantitative data for drivers and barriers, but also on discussions with relevant stakeholders such as housing associations, which are key institutional demand-side actors.
Katrin Bienge adds: "The development of business opportunities for fuel cell contracting could promote the increased use of fuel cells in the residential building sector." The approach and methods used described in the article could be applied on a larger scale and in other sectors.

The team of authors includes Dr. Justus von Geibler and Katrin Bienge, both Project Co-ordinator in the Division Sustainable Production and Consumption at the Wuppertal Institute, and Dietmar Schüwer, Project Co-ordinator in the Department Future Energy and Mobility Structures at the Wuppertal Institute. Other authors of the paper "Identifying business opportunities for green innovations" are: Otto Berthold (GASAG AG, Remscheid), Alexander Dauensteiner (Vaillant Group, Remscheid), Prof. Dr. Viktor Grinewitschus (ebz Business School, University of Applied Sciences, Bochum), Dörthe Hoffmann (Vivawest Wohnen GmbH), Wolfgang Renner (Gemeinnützige Wohnungsbaugesellschaft mbH Wuppertal), and Prof. Dr. York Ostermeyer (Chalmers University of Technology, Gothenburg).

The full article can be read under the following link.