Ene-Farm, the highly successful Fuel Cell micro-Cogeneration (FC micro-CHP) programme in Japan, has just reached another milestone: 300,000 units have been deployed in the country to date. Initially, the Japanese government provided via the Ene-Farm programme a subsidy covering nearly half of the product cost. Subsidies have been gradually reduced as the industry matured and costs came down. Over the past eight years, the costs of FC micro-CHP unit has decreased by almost two thirds and today the technology does not require government incentives anymore.
The predictability of Ene-Farm contributed to its success. Support was linked to the industry’s commitment to reduce production cost and reductions in the support level were announced in advance. Following best practices from Japan, about 10,000 fuel cell micro-CHP systems have been deployed in Europe to date with the support of EU projects (i.e. ene.field and PACE) and of national programmes (i.e. KfW 433). This number is expected to increase tenfold to 100,000 units by 2022.