Ceramic Fuel Cells appoints BlueGen distributor in The Netherlands
21 July 2011
Ceramic Fuel Cells Limited (AIM/ASX: CFU), a leading developer of high efficiency and low emission power products for homes and other buildings, has signed a distribution agreement with Zestiq B.V., for Zestiq to market and sell Ceramic Fuel Cells' BlueGen gas-to-electricity products in The Netherlands.
Zestiq is part of the consortium of innovative companies which in March 2011 bought and installed a BlueGen in a 17th century canal house "De Groene Bocht" in the centre of Amsterdam. The aim of Zestiq is to accelerate 'clean technology' which is market ready. By developing smart business models for the different technologies, Zestiq aims to significantly reduce the time to mass market.
Zestiq and its partners will market and sell BlueGen units to small commercial and residential customers in The Netherlands. The units will be installed and maintained by the service company of Eneco, Eneco Installatie Bedrijven.
The other members of the consortium include several leading energy companies in The Netherlands: Liander is a distribution company with 2.9 million electricity customers and 2.1 million gas customers. GasTerra is an international natural gas trading company owned by Royal Dutch Shell, Exxon Mobil and the Dutch Government. Responsibility for the planet and for society go hand in hand at GasTerra, which is why sustainability is an important component of GasTerra's policy. The company supports the development of gas technologies, such as BlueGen units, that could make a significant contribution to the transition to sustainable sources of energy. A BlueGen unit is also installed at the home of a Director of GasTerra.
The other consortium member, Eneco, currently provides services for a range of heating and cooling technologies, including other small scale combined heating and power products. Eneco invests in sustainable energy sources such as wind, hydro and solar energy, biomass, heating and cooling and decentralised, local generation of energy. Eneco is active in the North West European market with operations in Belgium, France, Germany and the United Kingdom. Eneco is mission partner of the World Wildlife Fund (WWF) and the world's first energy company to participate in the international Climate Saver programme.
Matthijs Guichelaar from Zestiq said "Zestiq sees a huge market potential for BlueGen in the Netherlands. With its dense gas network, large gas reserves in the North and growing interest in distributed generation, we think the Netherlands and the BlueGen are a perfect match. We see great possibilities in carbon reduction and smartgrid applications. Together with Eneco we are looking forward to starting to make sales."
Brendan Dow, Managing Director of Ceramic Fuel Cells said "We are very pleased to have appointed Zestiq as another sales channel for BlueGen, this time in the important Dutch market. Zestiq and their utility partners will drive BlueGen sales in this market to build on our sales channels in the UK and other key markets."
BlueGen uses ceramic fuel cells to turn natural gas into electricity and heat for hot water, with each unit capable of producing more than three times the electricity needed to power the average Dutch home. (In The Netherlands an average home consumes an estimated 3,700 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.)
Surplus electricity can be sold back to the grid or used in supplementary applications such as charging an electric car, as well as having the additional benefit of providing heat for domestic hot water use. BlueGen units generate electricity with the highest electrical efficiency of any small scale generating technology in the world, reducing energy bills and cutting carbon emissions.
BlueGen customers in The Netherlands are eligible to receive a feed in tariff for up to 5,000 kilowatt hours of electricity exported back to the grid.