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Challenges / issues addressed

Stationary fuel cells operate under a variety of constraints which are defined by the energy supply grid they are integrated into and the application they serve. Generally, stationary fuel cells offer the advantages of high efficiency operation with low emissions, low noise and modular design.
Nevertheless, it must be acknowledged that the GHG savings from a fuel cell operated on the German grid will very much differ from those of a fuel cell producing electricity in France –due to the difference in carbon footprint of the French electricity supply system.
Different fuel cell types (PEFC, HT-PEFC, MCFC, SOFC) display different efficiencies in electricity production from natural gas.
As a result of this complex situation there is no simple means of predicting the advantages a stationary fuel cell system will offer in any given energy supply environment. The task of setting minimum benchmark targets for projects to be awarded funding under the FCH JU scheme was therefore abandoned since there was no sensible way of setting general conditions that would apply independently of technology and system integration across the whole of Europe.