Despite the intense development efforts, commercially available turnkey residential fuel cell power systems are available today. As onsite-produced power becomes commonplace, life will no doubt become easier for all renewable energy users. As utility companies begin to routinely connect fuel cell units to the grid, it should be more difficult to discourage wind and solar PV system connections.
Developers are forming relationships with utility companies and other investors to facilitate development and product launch. The electric companies, not wanting to lose out to a new competitor, are keenly interested. The gas utilities, seeing a huge new potential market, are likewise attentive.
We should pay close attention as laws are changed to accommodate this shift, and make sure no one gets left out. Costs for many parts already used in renewable energy systems—inverters, for example—could become much lower due to mass production as fuel cell systems proliferate.