Hydrogen was a dominant feature at this year’s Handelsblatt Energy Summit, which took place online and in Berlin from Jan. 17 to Jan. 20, 2022. The discussions covered its many production-dependent colors and possible applications and underlined the major role the energy carrier has to play in successfully transforming the planet’s energy ecosystem.
The company is about to enter a phase of exponential, long-term growth, is my interpretation of the earnings call on March 14, 2022 regarding the 2021 annual figures and the fourth quarter. Year 2023 should really start off with Ballard reaping the fruits of years of intensive research and development, various pilot projects and building up production capacities. The Canadian company is working on scaling production capacity in the target markets bus, truck, rail and ship. But that doesn’t happen overnight.
Finally: FuelCell Energy has agreed and settled with South Korean company Posco. FuelCell is now independent from Posco again and can pursue other opportunities in Asia. The company figures of FuelCell Energy are not yet very convincing, given the last quarterly results: a measly 14 million USD turnover. Although there are pending orders of 1.29 billion USD in the books, so far seemingly few new orders are coming in. The cooperation with ExxonMobil was extended once again, but with no new conditions to report.
The plans are huge: three sites are to start production already this year. The first target for the current fiscal year is 70 tonnes of hydrogen per day. This should enable a profit margin of 30 percent. Of this, 40 to 50 tonnes per day are needed for existing activities and 20 to 30 t/day will be brought to market as a tradable commodity, is my expectation.
Cummins Engine is highly committed to the H2 industry – also in the commercial vehicle sector, starting with trucks and going all the way to ships. The company is also expanding its own electrolysis technologies. A project with Sinopec consists of an electrolysis capacity of 1 GW – 1,000 H2 fueling stations for the Greater Peking Area. Cummins Engine is vehemently driving its transformation from a diesel engine producer to a fuel cell company and in doing so majorly implementing and scaling the special knowhow of the purchased/integrated Canadian company Hydrogenics.
What an outstanding view K. R. Sridhar, CEO of Bloom Energy, describes: Bloom is on track to achieve annual growth of up to 35 percent instead of the previous 25 to 30 percent, as the company is optimally positioned – technologically and in terms of business model – in H2 energy markets around the world.
Nikola Motors needs to be understood/categorized as a start-up in the process of implementing its business plan. The construction of its factory in Coolidge, Arizona is underway, and the first battery–electric trucks (BEV trucks) are already with customers. This year should see 300 to 500 of these, along with sufficient capacity for 2,400, which should reach 20,000 by 2023. In Ulm, Baden-Württemberg, the number of units produced by partner Iveco is to increase from 2,000 to 10,000.
Things are happening on the analyst and investor front: BlackRock has raised its position in Hyzon Motors. Over 100 institutional investors are already involved. The largest of these is the Saudi Arabian state fund PIF, which holds over 8 million shares. Billionaire Izzy Englander named Hyzon as one of his top three picks and acquired 1.36 million shares.
Siemens subsidiary Gamesa still doesn’t seem to be out of the woods, looking at the strong loss (minus 627 million EUR) that this company contributed to its parent (total minus of 560 million EUR). Onshore wind is considered a problem area – combined with miscalculations and supply chain issues. For this reason, there is speculation that this subsidiary will be fully integrated or restructured via a share swap, which could be implemented in, among other things, a realignment or even a split-off. A partial merger with a competitor may also be possible.
Unfortunately, it must be stated so: the global increase in the price of oil and gas or LNG, which is also fueled by Russia’s bellicose actions here in Europe, is beneficial for the ramp-up of the hydrogen economy, since at the end of the day, aside from climate and economic policy issues and price, it’s about the ensured availability and delivery of energy. So there is a winner in this crisis: hydrogen – green hydrogen.