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A conceptual framework for the evaluation of fuel-cell energy systems in the UK built environment.

Abdel-Wahab, Mohamed; Ali, Dallia


Mohamed Abdel-Wahab


Energy-efficient buildings can reduce human impact on the environment. Energy efficiency is not only concerned with generating more energy using fewer resources, nor reducing energy usage, but also it is about harnessing natural resources, such as wind and sun, to produce energy. The UK government is thus promoting the adoption of renewable energy in buildings. The Fuel-Cell Energy Systems (FCES), which utilizes hydrogen from renewable sources (green hydrogen), is a prominent technology yet with little application in the UK built environment. FCESs can help in addressing the problem of intermittent supplies of renewable energy by allowing for energy storage, which could act as a buffer to meet the variability in user-demand thereby maintaining energy security. Thus, the aim of this article is to explore the application of FCES in the UK built environment by drawing on the scant literature as well as discussion with industry experts. With the recent implementation of FCESs in Scotland, the development of guidelines for evaluation of the FCES is timely. A conceptual framework for the evaluation of FCES is thus outlined in this article, which could be piloted in Scotland (and possibly elsewhere). It is argued that such framework provides a holistic and structured approach for establishing the efficacy of FCES, which is crucial for informing its wider adoption in the future and in particular when it comes to the Return-on-Investment, especially from the perspective of funders and the local community.


ABDEL-WAHAB, M. and ALI, D. 2013. A conceptual framework for the evaluation of fuel-cell energy systems in the UK built environment. International journal of green energy [online], 10(2), pages 137-150. Available from:

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Mar 9, 2012
Online Publication Date Dec 28, 2012
Publication Date Feb 28, 2013
Deposit Date Nov 29, 2022
Publicly Available Date Nov 29, 2022
Journal International Journal of Green Energy
Print ISSN 1543-5075
Electronic ISSN 1543-5083
Publisher Taylor & Francis
Peer Reviewed Not Peer Reviewed
Volume 10
Issue 2
Pages 137-150
Keywords Evaluation; Fuel cells; ROI; Renewable-energy and built environment
Public URL


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