Cold chamber for hydrogen truck tanks

In February 2021, JA-Gastechnology, also known as JAG, shipped a permeation climatic chamber to a U.S. commercial vehicle manufacturer. Based in Burgwedel, Germany, JAG reported that it is the “world’s biggest climatic chamber for hydrogen trucks,” capable of carrying out pressure cycling tests and permeation measurements. With an internal diameter of 10 feet (3 meters), … Read more

Hydrogen reshapes energy industry

The reshaping of the energy landscape is well under way. And as the energy industry begins its transformation, it’s become apparent that hydrogen has a major role to play in the new world order – albeit not straightaway, but in the near future. Hence we see every imaginable organization jostling for position to take advantage of this restructuring and perhaps also to shape its direction.

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A bumpy ride

Weichai Truck - Ballard
© Ballard

The highs and lows of hydrogen and fuel cell stocks in recent weeks can be best described as a bumpy ride following a significant and rapid increase in prices. It seems to me that the market has entered a major consolidation phase. Yet this is no reason to lose faith, especially as the wild fluctuations that have been raging since early December 2020 – with some stocks climbing more than 50 percent inside a month – begged a correction. A process which is now in full swing. At the end of the day, it’s the future of the industry that counts and so here I stand by the old stock market maxim: The trend is your friend.

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FuelCell Energy – business valued too high

There has been a stark rise in the valuation of the business from around USD 100 million to now over USD 9 billion, with the stock price increasing from USD 1 – USD 2 to USD 29. I would go so far as to call it totally excessive. I got early wind of FuelCell Energy [Nasdaq: FCEL] as a turnaround after a management consultancy had “cleaned it up” and after the company had undergone a period of refinancing and restructuring and happily onboarded Orion Energy Partners as a key investor.

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Nikola Motors – uncertainty is waning

There are two sides to every story. And that’s very much the case with the planned cooperation with General Motors, GM, and the cancellation of 2,500 battery electric refuse trucks for Republic Services which turned out to be rather fortuitous in retrospect. In the GM scenario, Nikola would itself have had to spend over USD 700 million on tools, among other things. The participation of GM with USD 2 billion as a “valuable consideration” would have resulted in a dilution of the number of issued stocks.

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Plug Power – positioning under way but analysts disunited

Plug Power [Nasdaq: PLUG] has undergone one financing round after another, with a third bought deal sandwiched in between, this time to the tune of more than USD 1.7 billion. What’s more, the South Korean SK Group has promised to put up USD 1.6 billion in return for a 9.9 percent ownership stake in the company, an investment that will also form a basis for a joint venture between the two corporations. And if that’s not enough, Plug, which is headquartered in the U.S., intends to fit out delivery vehicles for France’s Renault Group. Plus, the company has been busy buying in top talent for its management team. That’s the good news.

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Hydrogen neighborhoods in the making

Supplying zero-carbon energy to entire districts

© Neue Weststadt

An increasing number of building projects are now incorporating an energy supply based on hydrogen and fuel cells. Given the targets set out in the Paris climate agreement, the current thinking is clearly to avoid designing new housing developments that are dependent on fossil fuels and instead switch entirely to renewables. Due to the high expense that is sometimes associated with innovative energy technology, it makes sense to maximize the number of users. Residential neighborhoods in particular, which may run from several dozen homes to a hundred properties, are one way of making this alternative approach worthwhile.

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Wait continues for hydrogen heating

Hydrogen Boiler - Remeha Hydra - BDR
Remeha Hydra © BDR

Are fuel cell appliances fed by natural gas fit for the future?

Fuel cell heating appliances have now been on the market for several years. The choice, however, is limited and the prices are high, which explains the slow growth in the number of installations. Yet, perhaps there are other reasons why this section of the market has yet to pick up. For although there is currently a great deal of funding available for initiatives that encourage a switch to energy-efficient heating appliances, particularly when upgrading from an outdated oil-fired system, fuel cell heating units – just like condensing boilers – have the drawback of burning natural gas, thus making them a source of carbon dioxide emissions.

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The industrial sector hits on hydrogen

Digital Handelsblatt Energy Summit 2021

Hildegard Müller - VDA
© VDA

Global energy trends are clearly moving in the direction of hydrogen – and away from fossil fuels. That’s the conclusion that can be drawn from the three-day digital energy summit staged by German business paper Handelsblatt which ran from Jan. 13 to Jan. 15, 2021. The energy sector as a whole faces enormous challenges as it continues along the path of decarbonization. Coal will be exhausted and demand for oil, too, will gradually decline in favor of hydrogen – with green hydrogen a credible prospect in the longer term given its renewable credentials. Natural gas must also become cleaner, though carbon capture and storage, CCS, remains a divisive issue. “Turquoise” hydrogen, meanwhile, can be viewed as a sensible option for applications associated with the production of green steel. No mention was made of yellow hydrogen produced from biogas, and was addressed instead in terms of hydrogen created using nuclear power.

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Colorful path to a green future

2nd round of HyLand competition kicks off

“We’re not talking about Champagne, we’re talking about table water.” This was the pronouncement of Katherina Reiche, chairwoman of Germany’s National Hydrogen Council, as she instigated proceedings at this year’s H2Congress. On Jan. 26 and 27, 2021, over 3,000 attendees gathered online for a joint conference consolidating the NIP General Assembly and the German Hydrogen Congress. In among the discussions came the announcement that the second round of the HyLand competition would soon open.

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