Bloom, Cummins, First Solar: Stocks To Play The Hydrogen Economy
Interest in clean energy stocks has soared this year, driven by low-interest rates, improving economics, and the election of Democrat Joe Biden – who has proposed to spend as much as $2 trillion on fighting climate change – to the U.S. presidency. While solar and electric vehicle stocks have been the most high profile winners, another theme that appears to have caught investors’ interest is the concept of the “hydrogen economy” or the use of hydrogen as a fuel for transportation and other energy requirements, replacing fossil fuels.
Hydrogen burns much cleaner than petroleum-based fuels and can be produced using just water and energy or from hydrogen-rich gases such as methane. Hydrogen is also seen as a means of storing excess renewable electricity – as the electricity can be used to run a process of electrolysis, which converts water into hydrogen. Our theme of Hydrogen Economy Stocks includes the stocks of U.S. based companies that sell fuel cells, renewable energy equipment, and supply hydrogen gas. Below is a bit more about the companies in our theme and how they fit into the broader picture of the Hydrogen Economy.
Bloom Energy BE sells solid oxide fuel cell generators called Bloom Energy Servers BE that use natural gas or biogas as fuel via an electrochemical process without combustion. The company also develops hydrogen fuel cells – that use only hydrogen gas as fuel. The stock is up 245% year-to-date.
FuelCell Energy (NASDAQ NDAQ : FCEL) is a company that designs and manufactures carbonate and solid oxide fuel cells that run on hydrogen-rich fuels such as natural gas and biogas. The company also operates over 50 fuel cell power plants across the world. The stock is up 229% year-to-date.
MORE FOR YOU
Air Products and Chemicals APD (NYSE: APD), a company that sells gases and chemicals for industrial uses, is one of the world’s largest producers of hydrogen. Earlier this year, the company outlined plans to build a sizable hydrogen plant powered by 4 Gigawatts of renewable electricity in Saudi Arabia. The stock is up 14% year-to-date.
First Solar FSLR is the largest U.S.-based solar panel manufacturer. Solar players could also stand to gain from the hydrogen economy as hydrogen can be produced from water by a process of electrolysis, using solar-generated electricity. Solar power typically sees intermittent production and supply-demand mismatches, so excess power could be “stored” in hydrogen. The stock is up 55% year-to-date.
Cummins (NYSE: CMI) – an industrials company best known for its engines and power generation products – has been working on hydrogen-based technologies for almost two decades. The company acquired Hydrogenics, a leading Canadian hydrogen fuel cell player last year. The stock is up 23% year-to-date.
What if you’re looking for a more balanced portfolio instead? Here’s a high-quality portfolio to beat the market, with over 120% return since 2016, versus about 60% for the S&P 500. Comprising companies with strong revenue growth, healthy profits, lots of cash, and low risk, it has outperformed the broader market year after year, consistently.
See all Trefis Price Estimates and Download Trefis Data here
What’s behind Trefis? See How It’s Powering New Collaboration and What-Ifs For CFOs and Finance Teams | Product, R&D, and Marketing Teams