Postponed or cancelled events

Many events that were to be held this spring have been either cancelled or postponed because of public health concerns over Covid-19. Hannover Messe and Düsseldorf-based Energy Storage Europe will only return in 2021, the latter between March 16 and 18 next year. Essen-based SHK, the largest show for heating and sanitation in Germany, has been rescheduled to take place in late summer, from Sept. 1 through 4, 2020.

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Enter the hydrogen decade

Historical price data on the five companies covered in this issue

Since the beginning of the year, the fuel cell stocks covered in this issue had seen a fast uptrend, which ended with the spread of Covid-19 around the world. Fears over the impact of the disease on the global economy meant some gains were quickly lost. Still, in light of increased news coverage, multiple project announcements and the growing popularity of green hydrogen, it has become clear that hydrogen and fuel cells are entering the mainstream and their breakthrough into the market is approaching rapidly.

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Plug Power – not yet where it should be

My virtual portfolio - Chart.
My virtual portfolio, © Wikifolio

Cashing in around the USD 5 mark, as I recommended, may have been a bit premature, seeing that the price rose as high as USD 6, but was ultimately a prudent move. At present, Plug Power’s stock again trades around USD 3. You may wonder what happened in the meantime. Simply put, expectations were too high. The net loss per share amounted to USD 0.06 in the fourth quarter of 2019. Revenue rose to USD 91.7 million, compared to USD 59.8 million generated in the prior-year quarter, which means there is some good news.

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Ballard Power – well-prepared, still going strong

Telecommunication pole, Thailand.
Telecommunication pole, Thailand.

The manufacture of the new powerful LCS stack, through a Weichai-Ballard joint venture in China, will start in the second half, or around the middle, of 2020. In my opinion, it will lay the foundation for high, long-term growth in revenue and profit. Considering what month it is, we will not have to wait long to find out. The positive news coming from this will form the basis for price trends throughout the year. I estimate a big jump, as Ballard Power is the global leader in manufacturing fuel cells.

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FuelCell Energy – the moment you reach the growth ceiling

How quickly things can change. Just a few months ago, FuelCell Energy [Nasdaq: FCEL] risked bankruptcy due to questionable financial practices. With the help of a highly committed and successful consulting firm, the business then righted the ship. At one point, its price soared from around USD 0.13 to an intraday high of over USD 4.00 as it saw its market cap jump from USD 40 million to USD 500 million. The latest stock crash then put an end to it all and the stock took a nosedive, finishing below USD 1.00. It will certainly take some time before the price averages out to reflect business growth.

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Bloom Energy – a restart is in order

Bloom Energy stock rose for a good while, to around USD 14, before falling dramatically. The plunge was a result of the company’s relatively weak performance in the fourth quarter of 2019 and the same-quarter restatement of managed service agreements entered into between 2016 and the end of last year. Instead of over the duration of the contract, the revenue for managed services transactions had been recognized upfront.

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Hydrogen Council expands its influence

Following an influx of new members, the Hydrogen Council has seen its influence grow around the world. In mid-January, the association said several global players, including Chevron, ElringKlinger, Mann+Hummel, McDermott and Nikola Motor, had joined the council in supporting roles. Its steering committee had also grown by five new members, namely CNH Industrial, Michelin, SaudiAramco, Schaeffler and Siemens. And another five, all of which operate in the finance sector, have formed an investor group. The organization’s membership total now stands at 81.

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Flexible, stretchable bio-fuel cell

Energy supply of a diode on the forearm via welding.
© CNRS/University Grenoble Alpes

In an international collaboration, scientists have developed a kind of “bio-fuel cell” that can be worn directly on the body and supplied with energy by sweat alone. At the end of September 2019, French researchers from the Département de Chimie Moléculaire (DCM), a research unit comprising CNRS (National Center De La Recherche Scientifique) and the Université Grenoble Alpes, together with …

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Economies of scale achievable quickly

Claus Möhlenkamp
Claus Möhlenkamp, © Freudenberg

Freudenberg Sealing Technologies (FST) is regarded as one of the pioneers of fuel cell technology, at least in Germany. The globally active seal manufacturer is one of those automotive suppliers who see the far-reaching changes in the mobility sector as an opportunity. With the purchase of battery manufacturer XALT Energy and parts of FC supplier Elcore in 2018, the basis was laid.

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