CT’s fuel cell sector to deliver powerful economic helping hand

CT’s fuel cell sector to deliver powerful economic helping hand

EAST HARTFORD, Conn. — Connecticut’s fuel cell sector, currently among the leaders nationally, has the potential to deliver a powerful helping hand to the state’s economy if the fuel cell industry follows the anticipated growth path, according to a recent study conducted by the Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA) at the University of Connecticut.

Global Market Insights, a global market research and consulting firm specializing in industry trends, projects fuel cell industry sales will reach $25.5 billion by 2024, with double-digit annual growth in virtually all markets.  While the Northeast is a major player in the sector, fuel cell production for stationary power applications is of particular significance in Connecticut, whose firms currently account for more than half of regional fuel cell production.

The CCEA study reveals that if the state retains its relative market share of fuel cell sales, the fuel cell industry will be a major contributor in restoring Connecticut’s economic vitality, particularly in retaining high tech research and advanced manufacturing jobs, generating increased investments, and delivering more tax revenue.

“As the CCEA analysis indicates, the fuel cell industry supports many high-tech jobs in the region and clearly has the potential to be a significant factor in Connecticut’s economic health going forward,” stated Joel M. Rinebold, director of energy, CCAT, and chairman, Northeast Electrochemical Energy Storage Cluster. “We need to think about the value of the industry and technology in terms of jobs, economic activity, and reliable power production as well as cost.”

“We need to think about the value of the industry and technology in terms of jobs, economic activity, and reliable power production as well as cost.”

The CCEA study presents the potential impact on jobs and revenues based on two growth rates: a simple “steady” rate and an “accelerated” rate.  The analysis reveals that between 2015 and 2042, the aggregated impact on employment yields 170,000 to 244,000 jobs over the 27-year period, averaging 6,300-9,000 jobs of various durations per year relative to the status quo. Similarly, the aggregated impact on real gross domestic product yields between $38 and $54 billion in terms of constant 2009 dollars.

Both growth rates project significant economic impacts especially flowing from robust fuel cell industry growth in Connecticut.  But recognizing the importance and likelihood that the industry will follow the accelerated growth path—common to developing industries—underlines the value of staunch support for Connecticut’s industry in the near term that will sustain its leading role during the strongest growth period.

“Connecticut’s investment in the fuel cell industry has the potential to yield significant economic benefits for the state in terms of jobs, income, and public revenue. In a state struggling to generate significant growth in quality jobs, expansion in real output, and improved tax revenue, the fuel cell sector has the potential to deliver a powerful helping hand,” stated Fred Carstensen, director, CCEA.

About CCAT
Connecticut Center for Advanced Technology Inc. (CCAT) is a nonprofit organization, headquartered in East Hartford, Conn., that creates and executes bold ideas advancing applied technologies, IT strategies, energy solutions, STEM education, and career development. By leading state, regional, and national partnerships, CCAT helps manufacturers, academia, government and nonprofit organizations excel. Learn more at ccat.us, or follow CCAT on Twitter – @CCATInc.

About CCEA
The Connecticut Center for Economic Analysis (CCEA), is a University Center located within the School of Business at the University of Connecticut (UConn). CCEA specializes in economic impact and policy analysis studies, as well as advising clients regarding business strategy, market analysis, and related topics. CCEA focuses particular attention on the economic and business dynamics of Connecticut. CCEA’s studies of state issues are founded on data sets maintained by Amherst, Massachusetts based Regional Economic Modeling, Inc. (REMI), which licenses dynamic models of the state’s economy.

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