Bosch acquires stake in fuel cell expert Ceres Power

Bosch acquires stake in fuel cell expert Ceres Power

Business news |
By Christoph Hammerschmidt

Bosch has signed a cooperation and license agreement with Ceres for technology development and the establishment of a small-series production facility at Bosch. At the same time, the Stuttgart-based company bought a 4 percent stake in the British company.

Ceres Power is considered a leader in the development of innovative next-generation solid oxide fuel cell technology. Ceres’ goal is to industrialize this technology through volume production with partners and to use it for networked and decentralized energy generation. SOFC systems are to be used in cities, factories, data centers or for operating charging stations for electric vehicles.

“For Bosch, the highly efficient fuel cell with very low emissions is an important contribution to security of supply and flexibility of the energy system,” says Stefan Hartung, Bosch Board of Management member responsible for the Energy and Building Technology division. Especially in an increasingly urbanized world, fuel cell technology is crucial for supply security, according to Bosch: “By 2050, more than six billion people, or 70 percent of the world’s population, are expected to live in cities. Today, metropolises already consume 75 percent of the energy consumed worldwide. Energy consumption worldwide will increase by 30 percent by 2035. In the future, this increased electricity demand can no longer be covered only by large, central power plants.

“The goal of our cooperation with Bosch is to set a new industry standard for solid oxide fuel cells for decentralized energy supply. The combination of Ceres technology with Bosch expertise in technology, manufacturing, and supply chain management enables a strong partnership. This will make our technology even more competitive and allow us to develop it further for possible mass production,” says Phil Caldwell, CEO of Ceres Power.

With SOFC technology, the energy carriers natural gas or hydrogen are converted into electricity by an electrochemical reaction inside the fuel cell, known as a stack. The resulting emissions are significantly lower than in combustion power plants.

Together with Ceres Power, Bosch plans to develop small SOFC power plants that can be located anywhere in the city and in industrial and commercial areas. Due to the high flexibility of the standardized systems, peak loads can be covered better and above all faster than with conventional systems. In the future, a SOFC module is to generate an electrical output of 10 kW. For a higher energy demand, any number of modules with the same output can simply be networked.

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