In mid-February 2017, the European Commission approved the federal government’s incentive program for establishing a charging infrastructure in Germany. This EUR 300 million project has been open to applications since March 1. In late April last year, the German chancellor agreed with carmakers to provide a tax-funded budget for charging points on top of the incentive money for electric vehicles.
Spring traditionally means a full calendar for members of the German Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, or DWV for short. It is the season in which industry stakeholders meet at Hannover Messe and the Energy Storage Europe, but it is also the time to prepare the annual member assembly, which was held in Erlangen on May 12 this year. Additionally, the DWV often organizes a so-called “parliamentary evening” in the first half of the year
Have you ever driven a fuel cell car? And have you ever filled up the tank of one at a hydrogen station? If so, you probably have made the same experience as I have: No fuel without a fuel card by the Clean Energy Partnership. Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to test-drive a Toyota Mirai (see next H2-international issue) – and try out refueling too. Driving the car was a great experience; the technology has matured enough. But the question I ultimately had was how the issue of hydrogen refueling would be solved in the foreseeable future.
Heating system manufacturer Vaillant has – again – put its fuel cell business on hold. Management announced on March 14, 2017, during the ISH in Frankfurt, Germany, that it had “reduced development capacities in fuel cells [and] put the market introduction of the fuel cell heating system for single-family buildings on hold for the time being.” Instead, Carsten Voigtländer, CEO of the Vaillant Group, intends to put a greater focus on renewable energy and heat pumps. In his view, “there currently is no fuel cell heating system that would be economically feasible for owners of real estate.”
On March 1, 2017, China Today reported in detail about the Asian country’s joint efforts together with Canada in environmental protection and clean energies. Canadian-based Ballard Power Systems was mentioned as a model example and positive force behind many fuel cell and mass transportation projects and agreements in China (bus, rails). What Ballard and the fuel cell companies discussed in the following articles have in common is that they will be in the black in two to three years’ time and that the fuel cell markets are at a turning point for the better. The five businesses and their shares should be viewed based on their very promising long-term outlook and not based on their admittedly disappointing short-term results.
Canadian-based Hydrogenics (NASDAQ: HYGS) reported revenue of USD 8.7 million for the fourth quarter of last year and a net loss of USD 0.20 per share. This means revenue in all of 2016 was at USD 29 million, at a net loss of USD 9.9 million. Conversely, the number of order bookings has skyrocketed and backlog totaled USD 106.6 million, of which around USD 38 million are said to be recognized as revenue in the current fiscal year
During the industry conference Energy – Think Outside the Box in Berlin, William M. Colton, vice president corporate strategic planning at ExxonMobil, talked about the big potential of a technology called “carbon capture.” By that, he meant the option to add CO2 to hydrogen to create methane and convert the result into power and heat inside a fuel cell. ExxonMobil’s partner for generating energy from emissions is FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ: FCEL). Days later, U.S. President Donald Trump said in a speech that he intended to “end the war on coal” and that the United States was going to have “clean coal.”
The minus USD 0.11 per share was a much higher loss than the USD 0.06 that had been anticipated. The adjusted EPS is said to be at USD 0.08 per share. The company’s revenue increased to USD 32.6 million in the final quarter of 2016 – while USD 34.8 million had been expected. The net loss attributable to common shareholders (incl. large extraordinary items) added up to USD 57.6 million at USD 85.9 million in revenue. This fiscal year, GAAP revenue is expected to grow to USD 130 million. Where does the company go from here? The focus of Plug Power (NASDAQ: PLUG) is the materials handling market, and it’s doing well on it regarding customers and bookings.
Just recently, the stock price of Tesla (NASDAQ: TSLA) had known no bounds: Prices went up more than 40 percent within a few weeks. But the hike was followed by a hefty decline from USD 286 to around USD 240. There had been no reassuring news and figures based on which you could make a logical argument for the price explosion. One of my theories focuses less on the influence of tweets and the content of statements made by Tesla’s CEO
Heliocentris Energy Solutions, which filed for bankruptcy in late 2016, will be no more, although its expertise will live on. The manufacturing and the education division were sold to different companies, but many employees who worked in Berlin lost their job.