Even Ballard’s chief executive, Randall MacEwen, has been heard using the word “megatrend” to describe the future of the fuel cell market. The industry is benefitting from the technological readiness of multiple fuel cell products and bringing them to market will only be a matter of time. The driver of growth at Ballard is a broad portfolio of prototypes and partnerships.
FuelCell Energy (Nasdaq: FCEL) disclosed in June that South Korean Posco Energy would end its agreement with the company to provide certain market access rights in Asia. By contrast, other Korean suppliers have begun to invest in fuel cells on a large scale. Posco’s decision could have been made for strategic reasons, maybe to limit its product range. The fuel cell division seems to be the logical choice
From USD 6 to USD 12 and right back where it all started, you might say. Low revenues in quarters one and two prompted the price to dwindle. But Hydrogenics continues to offer a great outlook given all the bookings made throughout the year. Likewise, it is working on a variety of projects, particularly in China. Recently, it started up one of the world’s biggest power-to-gas systems in Ontario, Canada.
There came the bombshell: On Aug. 7, Tesla chief Elon Musk tweeted he was considering taking the company off the stock market, a process known as delisting. And he put a price on it – USD 420 per share, which would mean a market value of more than USD 80 billion, including debt. He said funding had been secured. Had it really been? It was said that the suggestion to privatize came from Saudi Arabia
There has been a long tradition of hydrogen and fuel cell use in spaceflight programs. But it is a little-known fact that the U.S. Army, too, has been developing fuel cell devices for multiple applications. Could its efforts translate into a first-mover advantage and give the market the boost it needs? Here’s a look at how “America First” could be a blessing for fuel cells.
A new technology developed at the U.S. Department of Energy’s Argonne National Laboratory could significantly lower the cost of building new hydrogen fueling stations as well as expanding the fueling capacity of existing ones. The new method could reduce the need for expensive equipment and help bring down the cost of station upgrades by re-tasking compressors to serve more than one dispenser at a time and always allow for a fully pressurized and filled cylinder to be available on-site.
Canada has been the biggest driver of a commercial hydrogen and fuel cell market over the past 30 years. It has come as far as it has without political pressure to invent new technologies to protect the climate and the environment, provide security of supply or create jobs and stimulate growth. Early on, hydrogen and fuel cell companies such as Ballard and Hydrogenics recognized the market potential for vehicle applications.
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.
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.
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.