Rising oil prices to boost fuel cell market

Looking at oil prices these days may have you thinking that the sky’s the limit. However, what’s unfavorable, or even detrimental, to one side can benefit the other. Price hikes will just pump more money into alternative energies and R&D. Specifically, green hydrogen and its use as a source of electric power, heat and cooling energy could, along with carbon capture, see unprecedented growth, especially after it took so long for the world to start waking up to its potential.

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Ballard Power and the all-important year-end

Semi
Randall MacEwen and Hu Chunhua, Guangdong party chief, © Ballard

Canadian manufacturer Ballard (Nasdaq: BLDP) ended the first quarter of 2018 on a total revenue of USD 20.1 million. During the same period a year ago, it generated USD 6.2 million in one-time revenue from technology transfers and engineering support. This amount needs to be taken into account, that is, taken off, if the goal is to paint an accurate picture of year-over-year growth. Still, the company’s gross margin was 33 percent.

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Hydrogenics and why the first quarter isn’t the last

wallstreet
© wallstreet-online.de

Like Canadian competitor Ballard, Hydrogenics (Nasdaq: HYGS) has made investments in several markets, most of all, China, where demand for fuel cells is projected to rise. Both have entered into agreements with Alstom and Siemens. That the latter two have founded a joint venture to merge their railroad divisions suggests to me that keeping two experienced suppliers on board is part of their failsafe system. Ballard has also partnered with China’s CRRC, the world’s largest rolling stock manufacturer.

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Plug Power: High Growth, Strong Backlog

Plug Power’s first-quarter results were well received by stock market analysts. Net loss was USD 0.07, less than expected, while revenue surged 90 percent year over year, topping USD 29.1 million. At year’s end, earnings are expected to be between USD 155 million and USD 180 million. It has been reported that multiple new, and large, corporations were now part of Plug’s customer base. One of them is said to be a food company that ranks among the top five in the United States.

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Power Plant to Substitute H2 for CH4

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Magnum-Kraftwerk in Eemshaven, © Vattenfall

In the Netherlands, a power plant running on natural gas is said to be converted into a hydrogen facility. In mid-March, Mitsubishi Hitachi Power Systems announced it would adapt one of Nuon Magnum’s three 440-megawatt combined-cycle units in Eemshaven, in the Groningen region, for hydrogen by 2023. The change in fuel would be part of the ongoing Carbon-Free Gas Power project.

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Building Continues in Grenzach-Wyhlen

Grenzach-Wyhlen
Constructing the power-to-gas system, © Energiedienst

Construction continues on a new power-to-gas system in Grenzach-Wyhlen, Germany, despite considerable opposition. A citizens’ initiative had tried to remove the site from consideration, but Freiburg’s regional authority approved it in mid-March, as the hydrogen-producing facility met federal pollution standards (see H2-international, March 2017). Nevertheless, there have been calls to verify that, once started up, the system would comply with the noise limits set by law.

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eMove360° Adds Fuel Cells

The eMove360° Europe show, which will be held Oct. 16 through 18, is poised to welcome the fuel cell industry into the fold. The show’s organizer, MunichExpo, has partnered up with the German DWV – Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, among others, to schedule a Fuel Cell Conference for the first day of the event. It is said to be attended by representatives for high-profile companies such as Alstom, Daimler and Toyota.

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Linde Ends BeeZero

BeeZero
© Linde

In mid-2016, industrial gas supplier Linde took the novel approach of creating a free-floating carshare program that offered only fuel cell vehicles. The corporation founded a subsidiary named Linde Hydrogen Concepts to buy 50 Hyundai ix35 Fuel Cell cars, which customers could book via an app and pick up at public parking lots instead of designated rental stations.

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