Residential fuel cell systems in a one-year test reduced primary energy consumption by an average of 15.3% (equivalent to a reduction of 200 liters of oil), and reduced carbon dioxide emissions by 28% (a reduction of approximately 850 kilograms of CO2), according to a report released by the Japanese Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry.
The report presented data for one year beginning in October 2005 from 175 units used in the first-term trial of the Stationary Fuel Cell Extensive Demonstration Project, which started in fiscal 2005 with the aim of promoting widespread home use of fuel cells.
The New Energy Foundation (NEF), a non-profit organization, conducted the project to install residential fuel cell systems and to collect performance data on the units to evaluate the technology and find problems. The New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO), an independent administrative agency, subsidized the project. In the first term of the project, seven companies participated using city-gas-fueled units or LPG-fueled units.
The implementing companies and fuel cell makers are paired into teams and the data collected were grouped and compared on a team basis. The highest-performing team achieved an average reduction of 26.7% per year in primary energy consumption and 40.5% in CO2 emissions.
Fifteen companies and 1,257 households were participating in the project as of January 2006, including 305 households that joined in the second term of fiscal 2005 and 777 households that joined in fiscal 2006. The subsidy per unit was up to ¥6.0 million (about US$50,420) for fiscal 2005 applications, and ¥4.5 million (about US$38,000) for fiscal 2006 applications.