Cost issues seem daunting, but only because many people are looking at them erroneously, says Peter B. Bos, CEO of Polydyne, a Pacific Palisades, California-based consultancy that specializes in fuel cell economics. Bos, who's considered somewhat radical among fuel cell proponents, says the traditional cost projections don't factor in what he terms the production learning curve, which, simply put, means it can take years of research and lots of money to capture the first 1 percent of the potential market; but lessons learned during that initial effort spur a second, more efficient manufacturing wave, when production rises steeply and prices drop quickly. With that theory as a guide, Bos expects fuel cell price trends to mirror those of VCRs, air conditioners, and heat pumps. He predicts that 1 percent of U.S. homes will have fuel cells between 2006 and 2010, when a 5kW model will cost roughly $7,000. A few years after that, Bos says, fuel cells will cost only $1,200 and be in half of U.S. homes. But his most radical prediction is 29 years out: "By 2031, 99 percent of the homes in the United States won't need to be hooked up to the electric grid."