Investment bank J. P. Morgan’s analyst meeting with KR Sridhar, Bloom Energy’s chief executive, on May 26 revealed bright prospects for the company. When one analyst asked by how much Bloom wants to grow in the near future – if it aims for a rate of 20 percent to 25 percent annually – Sridhar replied the target is rather 30 percent a year over a long period of time. He based his assessment on an analysis of the company’s advanced technology, IP portfolio, markets and applications, as well as its competitive position, expertise and experience.
It seems like Nikola Motors [Nasdaq: NKLA] was able to stop the bleeding of the past few months. The stock is rising again. Up to 30 million shares are now traded each day, a comparatively high volume for the company. The new-found optimism among investors seems to stem from reports about Nikola’s recent progress in meeting its targets. Construction of the Arizona factory is well underway. Then there are new production facilities being built in Ulm, Germany. And another boost for the stock came when competitor Daimler Truck announced its intention to have 5,000 hydrogen-fueled heavy-duty vehicles on the road over the next few years, with business partner Shell providing the fueling infrastructure. Sounds a lot like Nikola’s business model, the difference being that Nikola will produce its own hydrogen, and be able to keep the revenue, instead of outsourcing the task to another company.
Driven in part by the recent decarbonization aims of multiple countries and businesses around the world, there is now pressure on every stakeholder in the sector to establish a global hydrogen economy as fast as possible. That much was clear to those attending German Handelsblatt magazine’s online Hydrogen Summit on May 26 and 27. An oft-discussed issue also brought up at the summit was the color of future hydrogen supplies. In response, Wolfgang Büchele, who was Linde’s chief executive from 2014 to 2016, said, roughly, that the color of the gas – be it green, blue or gray – was not nearly as important as the speed at which a steady supply of hydrogen could become a reality.
Opportunities from the inclusion of hydrogen in NECPs
Ambitious energy and climate policy requires a determined, holistic and coordinated approach and implementation. The National Energy and Climate Plans, NECPs, represent the key mechanism for reporting on future policy between European Union member states and the European Commission in a consistent way. They are used by the commission to monitor EU-wide progress in achieving the 2030 targets and to identify necessary actions. The latest reporting period considered a 10-year timespan between 2021 and 2030. The draft NECPs were submitted by EU countries at the end of 2018 whereas the final version was due by the end of 2019 after a detailed assessment by the commission. In the context of hydrogen all EU member states are encouraged to develop and implement their own strategies to enable hydrogen deployment taking the European framework and guidance into account.
Every day, more and more encouraging stories are popping up on news tickers, saying that companies, cities, towns and entire unions of countries, such as the EU, want to step on the gas in terms of climate action, with hydrogen definitely playing a crucial role in their efforts. While people are still sparring over what production method we should focus on, I am sure green hydrogen will win out in the end. Though we may need some of that blue gas to get to green.
A temporary jump in Nikola’s market cap to over USD 25 billion and a stock price topping USD 70 – on one day, even USD 90 – were quite the start. And yet, I stayed on the sidelines, which turned out to be the right thing to do.
What for ups and downs Tesla has seen. High-volume trading each day prior to the 5-1 split pushed the price to more than USD 2,200 – at the beginning of this year, it was below USD 400. A USD 420 billion market cap for what exactly?
FuelCell Energy [Nasdaq: FCEL] has finally closed the chapter on its partnership with Posco. It seemed like a story with no winner.
Bloom Energy performed strongly in recent months, rising from USD 10 to over USD 19 until it was time for profit-taking. As expected, the stock is beginning to catch up to other fuel cell shares. Plus, Bloom [NYSE: BE] has formed a joint venture with Samsung Heavy Industries to come up with SOFC solutions for cargo vessels and tankers. The venture is regarded as a research partnership aimed at developing technologies Bloom wants to bring to market starting in 2022, with yearly production capacities of 300 megawatts.
Plug Power stock is resilient. On the plus side, Plug [Nasdaq: PLUG] completed its USD 123 million acquisition of Giner ELX and United. It will allow the company to not only produce hydrogen but also start making electrolyzers. As I often noted, this kind of deal would be needed for an upward trend in Plug’s price. Moreover, the fuel cell supplier announced that it had received several sizeable orders, including a recent one from a new UK customer, Asda, a Walmart subsidiary.