Price of electricity and support mechanisms

This LAP analyses:
• The existing support mechanisms for stationary fuel cells (micro-CHP),
• The legal treatment of FC micro-CHP in comparison with other types of cogenerations and solar PV plants,
• The administrative steps necessary to benefit from the support mechanisms.


Does the use of a FC benefit from a support mechanism be it a general support for cogeneration, for self-consumption of electricity or a specific measure for stationary FC.

Pan-European Assessment:

The FC micro-CHP systems must compete with well-established technologies and therefore a non-discriminatory and technology open policy and legal frameworks at EU and national level are needed in order to overcome the market roll-out phase. The residential stationary fuel cells working on natural gas have to be treated in a same way as any other high-efficiency micro-cogeneration units. In case FC micro-CHP systems operate on green gases incl. hydrogen, they have to get the same preferential treatment as power units generating electricity from renewable sources.
The overview of the national policies and funding schemas reveals significant differences in commitment and support for FC micro-CHP systems among the partner countries.

The most of them do not provide any support mechanisms for FC-micro CHP systems. The existing support measures in the rest of the countries are very fragmented and unlikely to contribute substantially to the mass deployment of the residential stationary fuel cells. The most commonly used support measures available for all types of cogeneration units are feed-in tariffs, CAPEX support and incentives for electricity self-production.
Is it a barrier?
Type of Barrier
Economic barrier, Regulatory gap
Assessment Severity
The regulated feed in tarif and / or specific conditions for public or private operators of Fuel cell CHP Units has to compete with the feed–in tariffs for renewables. For CHP units, this tarif is generally lower and there is only a “bonus” in winter–time. FC technolgy for electricity and heat production has to compete with wind & PV electricity wich is receiving subsidies fort he electricity produced / sold to the grid


Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: a - feed-in tariff
a. No . There is no specific support for stationary FC. The applicable mechanisms are basically the same as for cogeneration units fed with natural gas. So a fuel cell operated in cogeneration mode can access to the feed–in–tarrif for cogeneration units. The units fuelled with natural gas can have a maximal power of 300 KVA to benefit from the special feed–in tarif. In winter–time (1st November to 1st April) the feed–in tariff is composed as follows: a) a proportional part = 54 €/ MWh b) a part depending on the reference gas price = 1,26 * reference price / MWh c) a part depending on the primary energy economy = 130 * (Ep–0,1) – Ep: primary energy economy coefficient (calculated accordind to directive 2012/27/UE from european parliament. in summer–time, the feed–in tarif for electricity is calculated as the positive difference on the adjustement mecanisms on the electricity market. For FC systems producing only electricity, there is no regulated feed–in tarif. It has to be negociated with the electricity buyer.
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: b - feed-in premium
b - No
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: c - quota obligation and certification scheme
c - no
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: d - CAPEX support
d - no
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: e - tax incentives
e - no
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: f - incentives to self-production (net-metering)
f - no
Question 1 Does the FC benefit from this form of support:: g - others
g - no
Question 2 Techno comparison: a - FC benefit from specific treatment?
a - No
Question 2 Techno comparison: b - FC benefit same treatment cogeneration techno?
b - Yes
Question 2 Techno comparison: c - FC benefit same treatment as solar PV (and other means of self-production of electricity)?
c - No
Question 2 Techno comparison: d - Explain how Stationary FC support (or absence of support) compare with the comparison technology identified above.
d - the treatment for CHP plants depends only on the capacity and energy efficiency of the plant, not on the technology used
Question 3 Explain here the administrative steps necessary to benefit from the support mechanism(s)
To benefit from the support mechanism for an “seeling contract” has to signed with the electricity provider choosen to buy the produced electricity. The contract to be signed to have access to the tarif is a so called C16 contract.
Describe the comparable technology and its relevance with regard to hydrogen
PV or wind energy installationst

National legislation:

EU Legislation:

  • Directive 2012/27/EU of the European Parliament and of the Council of 25 October 2012 on energy efficiency
    This Directive establishes a common framework of measures for the promotion of energy efficiency within the Union in order to ensure the achievement of the Union’s 2020 20 % headline target on energy efficiency and to pave the way for further energy efficiency improvements beyond that date.

    It lays down rules designed to remove barriers in the energy market and overcome market failures that impede efficiency in the supply and use of energy and provides for the establishment of indicative national energy efficiency targets for 2020.