China’s picking up the pace

China’s picking up the pace

Sven Jösting’s stock analysis

In the past weeks, news reached us from The Central Country: China is repositioning itself in the field of hydrogen and intends to take the lead in various fuel cell and hydrogen markets around the world. When it came to the solar and wind energy sectors, or even battery-electric mobility, China stimulated them with its extensive subsidy programs and the People’s Republic quickly advanced to the position of global market leader. Will we now see the same development in the H2 and FC sectors?


First, China defined, among other things through the CO2 footprint, the various colors of hydrogen for itself at the end of July and then, August 8, through six central authorities (standardization administration, NDRC, ministry of industry and information technology, ministry of emergency management and national energy administration), set corresponding guidelines. According to the Formation Guidance for Standard System of Hydrogen Industry, standards for the use of hydrogen in various markets and application fields are to be established by year 2025. This covers the various production processes of hydrogen, safety aspects, storage and transport, H2 infrastructure and various fields of application/markets.

This can safely be viewed as a framework in which the Chinese government could soon launch support programs for companies, provinces, universities and research institutes on a grand scale. Perhaps as early as 2024? For three years, we’ve been waiting for such a program – one with a volume that could be comparable to the US Inflation Reduction Act (500 billion USD, a trillion even?).

As China has major problems in the infrastructure/construction sector, the swing in the direction of hydrogen and climate protection could represent the perfect counter: growth through sustainability. This should now become a reality in one to two years. China has long been by far the world’s largest producer and also consumer of hydrogen (natural gas-based). In the future, the hydrogen is to eventually become green, even if surely also the color blue (natural gas reforming with CCS) is used in the transition.

What does this have to do with the H2/FC shares discussed here?

China will be setting down specifications that will influence the entire H2 industry worldwide, is the expectation. The use of fuel cells in motor vehicles of various types (from commercial vehicles to passenger cars) could help this technology achieve a breakthrough, if for example a national quota were to be introduced like that previously made for battery-electric. The same goes for the corresponding infrastructure and, of course, also production, storage and transport.

Based on planning until now, China was to have 1 million vehicles with H2 drives on the road by year 2030. A suitable funding program could ensure that it becomes many millions. For comparison: South Korea plans to have around 6.1 million FC vehicles on its roads by 2040.

For such a ramp-up, many companies active in this field in China need to prepare themselves. Toyota and Hyundai, but also Ballard, Cummins and Bosch, with large investments in regional production facilities for among other things FC stacks, are already in position. It is only a question of time when the global industry of suppliers show their commitment here.

On the small scale, this can already be seen in individual provinces and major cities: Shanghai plans by year 2025 to build up the number of H2 refueling stations from the current 14 to 70 and the number of FC vehicles from today’s 2,500 to 10,000 (primarily buses and commercial vehicles). This allows the conclusion that Shanghai wants to be prepared for the plans (subsidies) of the central government.

Why is the year 2023 the start of the hydrogen megatrend?

Trend research is showing green – including with hydrogen. John Naisbitt in his bestseller “Megatrends” has shown through many examples that the number 20 has a special meaning. And exactly 20 years ago, in 2003, the book “The Hydrogen Economy: The Creation of the Worldwide Energy Web…” of visionary Jeremy Rifkin was published in German (the English edition a year before in 2002). After reading it, you’ll know what is possible in terms of hydrogen.

Today, it is real. The book was my entrée into this subject area. From trend research, we know that for a new megatrend to go from its starting to melting point, it takes an average of 20 years. We’re penning the year 2023. The stock market is in the starting blocks. Will Naisbitt and Rifkin be right? Looks that way.


Each investor must always be aware of their own risk when investing in shares and should consider a sensible risk diversification. The FC companies and shares mentioned here are small and mid cap, i.e. they are not standard stocks and their volatility is also much higher. This report is not meant to be viewed as purchase recommendations, and the author holds no liability for your actions. All information is based on publicly available sources and, as far as assessment is concerned, represents exclusively the personal opinion of the author, who focuses on medium- and long-term valuation and not on short-term profit. The author may be in possession of the shares presented here.

Author: Sven Jösting

Hyzon Motors – Burdened by uncertainty

Hyzon Motors – Burdened by uncertainty

Hyzon Motors needed to provide the clarified figures for fiscal year 2022 on February 13, 2023 at the latest in order not to endanger its listing on the NASDAQ in accordance with rules and regulations. Now, the company has requested a new hearing, as Hyzon along with KPMG is under a comprehensive new audit for also the complete set of figures for the first business year, of 2021. As far as we know, there is a further extension time of 40 to 60 days. A hearing appointment for March 16th was requested and granted.

The current decline in the share price, in my view, is owed to investors fearing that it will be taken off the stock exchange. Hyzon, before the accounting irregularities, was financially well-positioned. Trucks are being delivered with much publicity, and they are seeking personnel after important management positions were newly filled. In the extreme case, the listing could continue on another exchange, the over-the-counter (OTC) market, as there are fewer regulatory conditions there.


From the sound of the press releases, I assume that Hyzon is creating clarity and will be able to keep its listing on the Nasdaq. Clear however is also that short sellers – around 18.5 million shares were sold short and thus over 20% of the free float – will take advantage of the current uncertainty. But even short sellers may be inclined to stock up in anticipation of the 16th of March, since with the expected (by me) positive outcome of the auditing, the shares will make up a lot of ground at the stock market and so the company will be completely newly valued.

For traders as well the coming three weeks will be very exciting, when a high volatility in the development of the share price (price swings of 5, 10 or even 20 percent in just one trading session, depending on the news situation) must be assumed. Hyzon is addressing – like Nikola Motors – exactly the right first big market in the area of hydrogen mobility: commercial vehicles. Whoever as an investor has concerns here should get off and then get back on again when all uncertainties have been removed. Indeed a tough buy.


Each investor must always be aware of their own risk when investing in shares and should consider a sensible risk diversification. The FC companies and shares mentioned here are small and mid cap, i.e. they are not standard stocks and their volatility is also much higher. This report is not meant to be viewed as purchase recommendations, and the author holds no liability for your actions. All information is based on publicly available sources and, as far as assessment is concerned, represents exclusively the personal opinion of the author, who focuses on medium- and long-term valuation and not on short-term profit. The author may be in possession of the shares presented here.

Written by author Sven Jösting, March 5th, 2023

Bloom – Company plans indicate great potential

Bloom – Company plans indicate great potential

The figures for fiscal 2022, but above all an evaluation of the written version of the accompanying conference call with expert analysts from renowned investment banks, suggest a very good future for Bloom Energy and support my extremely optimistic assessment. In it were many self-commendations from the board: “Bloom is now a predictable-growth company. Bloom is ideally positioned in many markets, is developing new complementary technologies, is entering new business fields and is building up and expanding its international engagements (also now strengthening Europe to South Korea link). Quote: “In 2022, we demonstrated record-breaking efficiencies for hydrogen production using our electrolyzers…and our highly promising carbon capture technology.”

My summary: The first stage in establishing the new factory in Fremont, California has been started – Bloom has invested 200 million USD and is producing stacks for the Energy Servers as well as the electrolyzers. Production capacity is still to double within this fiscal year. Federal subsidies from the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) will surely be used for this. With a 10 billion USD order volume (plus of 1.5 billion USD), the company is on a good path. They address a diversity of markets that primarily supply clean energy and create energy security 24/7.


A 200-kW microgrid solution from Bloom

Softbank Japan 5710 200kW Microgrid (1).jpg

Source: Bloom

Example: Optimizations such as a power-and-heat approach allow waste heat to be sensibly used. This was not really done in the USA up to now – it has been in Europe. Process and district heating are finding their use and increasing the efficiency of the Energy Servers and FC power plants to a record-breaking 90 percent. Biogas as a basis for hydrogen, relying on waste-to-hydrogen technologies, will also be a very big future topic for Bloom. In addition, the US company is working on carbon capture technologies to reduce CO2 emissions or make e-fuels. With all these topics, Bloom intends to focus in particular on the markets and regions of the world where the highest profit margins can be generated.

It would be conceivable to set up production facilities for the Servers/stacks in Europe at a later point in time, when the domestic demand allows for this and the production capacities in the USA are fully utilized. Should the EU define its own IRA-like program such that producers in Europe must produce for Europe, this could of course incentivize Bloom to establish production in Europe (supply chains). But right now that’s a far-off dream.

Profit margin is expandable

The figures for 2022: Nearly 1.2 billion USD turnover, and a fourth quarter with record sales of 462.8 million USD (at 400 million USD expectation). From the quarter in the previous year, a heavy plus of 41.4%. Although the profit margin according to the non-US GAAP calculation was over 30% in the fourth quarter (23% for the whole year), it was with GAAP accounting however only 15.4% in Q4. Non-GAAP profit here reached 59 million USD – although the operating loss amounted to 40.6 million USD.

The order volume is record-breaking: 10 billion USD (8.5 billion USD in previous year). It should be noted here that the GAAP result also factors in bonus programs for employees and managers (stock option plans, stock compensation), which distorts the result. Meanwhile, non-GAAP accounting is considered even more informative than accounting via GAAP. Because with the former, one-time factors like extraordinary depreciations (non-recurring losses) and stock compensation plans are taken out of the equation.

Bloom therefore earned – before extraordinary expenses – non-GAAP: 0.27 USD per share. The profit margin is set to increase step by step to 30% if these one-time factors turn out to be smaller in the calculation when the next years are included.

Cash and cash equivalents at the end of the last financial year amounted to 500 million USD, and it will shortly (first quarter) rise by another 313 million USD, as the SK Group/SK Ecoplant plans to send the second tranche for its stake in Bloom.

Analysts are divided but positive

The one side of analysts is evaluating the situation as it is (current quarterly figures, profit margins); the other, the prospects according to the existing fundamentals and corporate forecasts. It could therefore be heard that analyst Mark Strouse at J.P. Morgan has lowered the share price potential after the publication of the fourth-quarter figures with a price target of 29 to 27 USD. His rating: from outperform to neutral.

Strouse sees profit margins as not yet at the level forecast by the company itself, while his colleague at Morgan Stanley in turn raised his rating to Outperform. His price target for the share: 35 USD. Bloom is very well positioned in all important areas of its market and has a high sustainable growth potential.

In other words: The one sees a half-empty glass and the other, a half-full one. Important to me are, above all, the prospects and not a single quarter’s indication or a single fiscal year. All must be considered.

Critical considerations

The share price rose on the day of the publication of the figures to nearly ten percent intraday, but then fell again in the following days. This is owed to, in my view, the opinion of some market participants and analysts that the profit margin does not yet meet the targets and forecasts. Furthermore, the high order volume must be taken into perspective, as it includes long-term service contracts totaling 7.2 to 10 billion USD.

The area of electrolysis, against expectations, will not be able to generate really noteworthy revenue before year 2024. There were already high expectations for this for 2023. The high amount of short interest, expressed in the shares sold short, must also not be overlooked, as short sellers have no interest in increasing prices and will maintain influence over the price development via trading (basis for increased price fluctuations). Good news (orders placed, technological breakthroughs) is the basis for potentially rising prices and particularly for the returns (profit margins) from here.

The outlook is positive

Bloom is massively expanding production capacity for stacks for Energy Servers and electrolyzers. After doubling it for the Servers from 300 MW to 600 MW annually, the same will be done for the electrolyzers. Production is running behind demand for the FC power plants (Energy Servers), suggesting a strong long-term growth. The transition to the profit zone (sustained and strongly increasing) we think will appear starting 2024, as that is when the electrolyzers from the newly established capacities will also come to market. Bloom could then also itself become an H2 producer and profit from IRA subsidies of 3 USD per kg H2.

Through constant optimization and through the leveraging of cost reduction potentials (scaling), this development at Bloom will have an impact on earnings in a positive sense. Bloom is expecting 40 percent of turnover in the first half of 2023 and 60 percent in the second half (approval process-related influences). Turnover in the running fiscal year is to lie at 1.4 to 1.5 billion USD, which corresponds to a growth of 17 to 25 percent and unfortunately not the more than 30 percent originally envisaged. But with this, one could also live well. In the medium to long term, however, growth is expected to reach 30 percent and more.

Looking at the whole picture with all the developments (global energy security and demand, hydrogen, climate issues, support programs like the IRA), Bloom is among the winners, which is reflected in the sharp rise in order intake and eventually also in reports of profit. New topics such as the use of SOFC Energy Servers in ships, carbon capture, power & heat, and waste-to-hydrogen are being technologically addressed by Bloom. From these, potential for new orders can be expected.

Important for the investment: time and patience. Temporarily weak share prices are suitable points to buy again. A, and my, key investment in the topic hydrogen and fuel cells. The reasons for great share expectations are manifold, so one can assume a good risk/reward ratio.


Each investor must always be aware of their own risk when investing in shares and should consider a sensible risk diversification. The FC companies and shares mentioned here are small and mid cap, i.e. they are not standard stocks and their volatility is also much higher. This report is not meant to be viewed as purchase recommendations, and the author holds no liability for your actions. All information is based on publicly available sources and, as far as assessment is concerned, represents exclusively the personal opinion of the author, who focuses on medium- and long-term valuation and not on short-term profit. The author may be in possession of the shares presented here.

Written by author Sven Jösting, March 5th, 2023

Will 2023 be a good year for hydrogen shares?

Will 2023 be a good year for hydrogen shares?

If one has faith in the many, mostly positive news from all over the world regarding fuel cells and hydrogen, then nothing – especially at the stock exchange – stands in the way anymore of a hydrogen ramp-up. Because shareholders and investors need visions and growth stories that spark hope in a share. And this is exactly what the initiatives of many countries are doing, for example the USA with its Inflation Reduction Act as well as the comparable plans of the EU or the very ambitious plans of South Korea, Japan and China.

Fig. 1: Share price performance of the companies discussed – last quarter



Source:, Share prices on March 15, 2023

The phase of many of the companies analyzed here is gradually moving from positioning to scaling, where the right growth figures are locked in sight. The transition to the profit zone is only a question of time, but will then lead to sustainable growth once achieved. In doing so, 2024 will be the first year in which some companies in the industry will start with full order books and then be able to increasingly exploit the already established capacities.

The stock market as an anticipation mechanism – the future is fed into the prices – thus assumes its actual role. That the past two years there, with COVID as an influencing factor, had been the reason for much disappointment will soon be forgotten. Because global climate change, the desire for energy security and sufficient availability, and the legal provisions regarding clean, renewable energy are helping all the markets in which hydrogen is increasingly replacing fossil energy carriers like natural gas, coal and petroleum.

As this is a new megatrend (20 years running), it’s still only now gaining speed, even if this requires time, since all this does not happen overnight. First, the necessary infrastructure must be in place (gas pipelines made H2-ready). New H2 refueling stations will be the basis for, first, serving commercial vehicles such as buses and trucks with hydrogen, especially on long-distance routes, until passenger cars, too, are increasingly put on the road equipped with fuel cells and hydrogen in a few years and series production begins.

Hydrogen as a storage medium for regenerative energies will gain significance, but the required quantities will be handled and transported from all over the world as a commodity in the form of derivatives like ammonia. The electrolysis, in its different variants, will have particular importance in this. Here, enormous new world markets are emerging, but also new areas of competition. For this reason, I am taking great care to ensure that the listed companies covered here are among the winners of the trend, because they have the important know-how and experience as well as business models that allow for good profit margins.

Fig. 2: Worldwide, interest in electrolyzers is continuing to grow: an Asahi Kasei alkaline water electrolysis pilot test plant for hydrogen production in Kawasaki, Japan

Asahi Kasei alkaline water electrolysis pilot test plant.jpg

Source: Asahi Kasei

Out of many pilot projects around the use of the fuel cell as well as hydrogen as an energy carrier (trains, ships, backup power, drones, planes, trucks, among others) will come large series in a market that promises exciting growth prospects for most participants. This ramp-up is generating share price fantasies, and it can be assumed that a great number of joint ventures will arise that will – with a whole range of products for the topic of hydrogen – be perceived as one-stop partners and offer complete solutions: from the production of hydrogen (electrolysis) to its utilization in gas-fired power plants, industry (steel, chemicals) and transportation in its many forms, and also hydrogen-based e-fuels as fossil fuel substitutes.

Companies that have the relevant know-how and IP, produce hydrogen themselves and are able to make it part of their business model will be the winners – including at the stock exchange – is my forecast. Institutional as well as private investors will, out of their own conviction and due to the lack of alternatives in terms of sustainability, provide this market segment with the necessary growth capital and then, via rising stock quotes, profit themselves from it the most.

Shares of the new, disruptive megatrend hydrogen are now starting to take off. However, the ramp-up needs time, which is also a prerequisite for any investment in this segment. Just look at what the studies of notable business consultancies like McKinsey and PwC are forecasting for these markets (heavy transport for example) in the next five to fifteen years. After that, investments in companies with the right solutions and products will be a sure thing with above-average potential.

So it’s irrelevant if it takes a year or two for the whole thing to get off the ground and gain momentum. The companies discussed here, I am fully convinced, will be among the winners in the megatrend hydrogen.


Each investor must always be aware of their own risk when investing in shares and should consider a sensible risk diversification. The FC companies and shares mentioned here are small and mid cap, i.e. they are not standard stocks and their volatility is also much higher. This report is not meant to be viewed as purchase recommendations, and the author holds no liability for your actions. All information is based on publicly available sources and, as far as assessment is concerned, represents exclusively the personal opinion of the author, who focuses on medium- and long-term valuation and not on short-term profit. The author may be in possession of the shares presented here.

Written by author Sven Jösting, March 5th, 2023

How extensive is the H2 society in Japan?

How extensive is the H2 society in Japan?

Japan has set itself the goal of becoming the first hydrogen economy in the world. What has been achieved since the country submitted the world’s first national hydrogen plan in 2017? The H2 user base was further expanded, and the government under Kishida is strongly investing in trailblazing pilot projects. However, the focus remains on the import of blue hydrogen. An update since the H2-international report from July 2021.

A milestone in the expansion of the hydrogen infrastructure actually slated for 2021 was reached by Japan in autumn 2022. As of October, 163 hydrogen fueling stations are in operation. A doubling to 320 stations by 2025 is planned, which is to be 900 by 2040. In April 2022, there were nearly 5,270 fuel cell vehicles on the road in Japan. By 2025, according to the energy expansion plans of the government, it is to be however 200,000, and then 80,000 by 2040. Whether the 430,000 mini CHP Ene-Farm units installed in Japan will really be converted to run on hydrogen instead of natural gas sometime in the future is an open question.


A national electrolysis capacity of 15 to 30 GW is to be built up between 2030 and 2050. The system costs for hydrogen production by electrolysis from renewable energies are to be decreased to 52,000 yen, or about 360 euros, per kW by 2030. The planned massive expansion of capacities for offshore and coastal wind power generation in Japan could help in this. Japan is still clearly lagging behind the EU and China in the expansion of domestic production of green hydrogen.

With the goal of becoming climate neutral by 2050, the government under prime minister of Japan Fumio Kishida is also further heavily investing in the nation’s transition to a “hydrogen society.” “Hydrogen is the key to sustainable development,” stated Eiji Ohira, director general of the hydrogen and fuel cell division of NEDO, Japan’s energy technology agency, at the World Energy Storage Day event recently held in India.

From the Green Innovation Fund of NEDO, 70 billion yen is to flow into development of large electrolyzer projects for hydrogen production, 300 billion yen into expansion of the supply chain, including imports by H2 tankers as well as hydrogen transport and liquefaction technologies. Furthermore, 26 billion yen will go towards the support of demonstration projects for H2 blending in gas turbines – including those abroad.

German-Japanese project in Lingen

With support from the New Energy and Industrial Technology Development Organization (NEDO) of Japan, the world’s first industrial-scale hydrogen-capable gas turbine was built in Lingen, Germany. Using the turbine from Kawasaki Heavy Industries, the conversion of hydrogen back into electricity is to be tested in the natural gas-fired power plant RWE Gaskraftwerk Emsland. The project is one of the first worldwide in which a gas turbine is converting 100 percent hydrogen into electricity on a large industrial scale. The plant with a capacity of 34 megawatts could go into operation mid-2024. In the course of the project, two fuel cell systems developed by Kawasaki are to be employed. The 1 MW versions of both were successfully tested in a demo project in Kobe, Japan. In Lingen, these technological principles will be scaled to industrial level for the first time.

Hydrogen – and transitionally ammonia is to be a “decarbonized electricity source” that covers ten percent of Japan’s electricity demand by 2050. However, hydrogen is also intended to decarbonize fossil energy production. Old coal plants in Japan are to be converted to operate with a mixture of coal and hydrogen so that they can continue to be run. The advantage for energy companies is that the power plants that would have had to be shut down in view of the CO2 reduction targets will be able to continue operating.

Continued focus on blue hydrogen

On the supply side, the Japanese government is continuing to concentrate on blue hydrogen, which although produced with fossil fuels, can be climate neutral or at least low-carbon with the use of technologies for CO2 capture and storage (CCU/CCS, see H2-international August 2021). However, there is uncertainty whether CCUS technologies (carbon capture, utilization and storage) are cost-effective enough and whether there is enough storage capacity within the country at any rate. Suitable geological formations are situated far from industrial centers, which makes the transport expensive. Some are also subject to earthquakes.

Furthermore, this makes Japan again dependent on energy imports, so the problem of energy security, which has been even higher on the political agenda since Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, is not solved. In terms of decarbonization, this is not really progress.

New developments in the H2 demo projects

On the Fukushima Hydrogen Research Field (FH2R) in the coastal town of Namie now stands a 10-MW electrolyzer from Asahi Kasei as well as a 20-MW and 100-MW solar park. In a model project, the locally generated hydrogen is being supplied via a distribution grid to 22 buildings, one school, several supermarkets and fueling stations that can supply 100 fuel cell buses. In the major cities Fukushima and Kōriyama, one to one-and-a-half hours away, the hydrogen is being used as well – in mobile applications enabled by refueling stations and the stationary applications of a public park and a wholesale market. In the currently running second phase of the project, the prefecture is to be further expanded into an “innovation hub” for the hydrogen society, and more and more regional businesses and research institutes will be integrated.

Expanded will also be the H2 information and demonstration center Hydrogen/Fuel Cell Valley, located just outside of Kōfu, the capital of Yamanashi Prefecture. Here on Mount Komekura is a 10-MW solar park, the 1.5-MW electrolyzer from Kobelco, a hydrogen fueling station and another electrolyzer that was installed this year. In several expansion stages, the electrolyzer from Hitachi Zosen is to be expanded to a total capacity of 16 MW and to supply 450,000 Nm3 of hydrogen per year by 2025.

The fuel cell nanomaterials research center and the clean energy research center at the university there in Yamanashi belong to the world’s leading and most respected institutions in the field of materials innovation for fuel cell technology. The technical chemistry institute at TU Braunschweig in Germany (Institut für Technische Chemie und Technische Elektrokatalyse, ITEC) has long maintained close relations with the hydrogen research center in Kōfu. Together with Yamanashi University, it is currently establishing a German-Japanese joint fuel cell technology laboratory. The aim is to optimize water electrolysis, electrocatalysis and hydrogen applications in the field of mobility, particularly through materials innovation.

FC Expo

In Kōfu mid-March 2023, when the FC Expo in Tokyo will be held, is planned a German-Japanese expert workshop on electrolysis technology organized by NEDO and NOW GmbH.

Author:Johanna Schilling, ECOS Consult GmbH, Osnabrück, Germany

Image: PV system with H2 fueling station behind it in Japan
Source: ECOS

Olympic H2 flame

Olympic H2 flame

olympic flame, © Tokyo 2020

© Tokyo 2020

The Olympic flame is to burn with hydrogen for the first time at this Olympics. H2 gas is already being used in the “baton”, which is modelled on a cherry blossom, during the torch relay – at least on some stages. The green hydrogen needed comes from Fukushima. An official from Japan’s energy agency said: “This will raise public awareness of the important role hydrogen is to play in the future.” (more…)