The hydrogen megatrend

The hydrogen megatrend

Dear readers

In recent years, hydrogen has managed to move out of its niche and onto the political main stage. Not just in Germany and Europe but across the world, the energy sector is bracing itself for change as we move from the fossil fuel age to a renewable era.

While some regions are only slowly preparing themselves for the real energy transition, many countries in central Europe as well as nations like the United States and Japan are right in the thick of it. The introduction of the Inflation Reduction Act saw the US roll out a huge financial package. Such a step has yet to be taken in China. The People’s Republic has long been at the forefront of electric transportation but the political framework for instigating a hydrogen economy remains a work in progress (see p. 48).

Germany, on the other hand, was at the cutting edge when it coined the term “energy transition” many years ago, an expression that now, around the globe, epitomizes this transformation process. And by phasing out coal and nuclear power and cutting back on oil and gas, Germany finds itself in a good position, but we are no longer at the forefront when it comes to tackling the climate crisis.

For a long while, Germany was ahead of the field when it came to the environment – leading on solar and wind technology as well as hydrogen and fuel cells. The hope is for a better result this time when establishing its own hydrogen and fuel cell industry than was the case for photovoltaics.

The German government recently adopted the update to its national hydrogen strategy, thus making clear its support for the course it set three years ago (see p. 14). What’s more, Germany is now getting a steering committee for hydrogen standardization so it can launch a standardization road map for hydrogen technologies (see p. 6).

With so much happening, it will come as no surprise that, in the German-speaking world especially, the word for “hydrogen” (Wasserstoff) has for many months been a popular term in online searches. Interest in hydrogen began to grow at the end of 2018 – well before the market started to ramp up, as research using Google Trends clearly shows (see p. 7). At that point, the number of inquiries using the Google search engine increased considerably, exceeding the 2004 level in early 2019.

Since then, the US corporation has recorded ever-higher numbers of searches for this particular keyword. In early and mid-2020 and early 2021, hydrogen inquiries overtook searches for the German equivalent of “photovoltaic” by a wide margin. Over the years, “hydrogen” almost always outperformed German inquiries for “fuel cell,” “electric mobility” and “digitization” (see cover graphic for German search results with keywords translated into English).

Globally the situation is a little different: Throughout the past two decades, a comparatively high number of Google users have looked up the word “hydrogen” in English – far more frequently than the English words “fuel cell,” “photovoltaic” or any spelling of “digitization.” Only “PV” enjoys a similar popularity to “hydrogen.”

Of course, this kind of trend analysis isn’t rigorously scientific, but it does give a representative indication of the interest level in hydrogen now, and how that compares with the past. Our analyst Sven Jösting, who has been monitoring the stock market performance of hydrogen and fuel cell companies for many years (see p. 47), has for a long time talked about a “megatrend.”

To all the critics who say it’s just another hydrogen hype, I can confidently reply: It is extremely likely that this time we’re looking at a proper hydrogen boom. And we’re right at the start of it.

For it’s only early days as we still don’t have a functioning hydrogen market. Except, that is, if we look at hydrogen as an industrial gas for conventional applications (welding, medicine, etc.). Preparations are underway, however, by H2Global to set up a trading platform that will enable hydrogen to be bought and sold in large quantities in a similar way to how the European Energy Exchange operates.

It’s also true that we don’t yet have a market for electrolyzers or fuel cells. Unless, of course, you count the hitherto low production volumes and capacities. This is essentially negligible in view of the quantities and capacities that we will potentially need. Hopefully we’ll be able to report on the latest sales and installation figures in the February 2024 edition of H2-international.

Even in the mobility sector, sales are still extremely modest, which is why no real acceleration of the market can be assumed before 2025. That said, this will only initially affect the commercial vehicle sector, i.e., hydrogen trucks and buses. In all probability, hydrogen automobiles will only be produced and sold in significant quantities at the end of the decade – if that does indeed happen at all. It will take even longer for rail vehicles, ships and airplanes.

The outlook, however, is clear: As the world shifts increasingly away from fossil resources, so renewable energy becomes ever more important. The upshot is that we need a lot more solar power plants and wind turbines. And hydrogen will be essential in bringing this vast quantity of green power to the different energy sectors.

Admittedly, it’s a pretty basic description of the energy transition. Though it does plainly show that hydrogen, far from being just a megatrend, is something that the energy sector simply can’t function without.


Best wishes

Sven Geitmann

Editor of H2-international

Siemens Energy – “We don’t need a corporate turnaround”

Siemens Energy – “We don’t need a corporate turnaround”

That the wind subsidiary Siemens Gamesa will still cost its parent company a lot of money has been the case for a while. Too great are the problems with some wind turbine types (onshore), and integration also costs money until synergies properly take effect and cost reduction potentials can be leveraged. Siemens Energy itself still see financial risks with this in the area of 1.5 to 1.7 billion EUR. It could, at the end of the day, as well be two billion. Provisions amounting to 1.6 billion EUR have already been set aside for this purpose, which will come into use in the coming two years. The second quarter brought an overall loss of 2.9 billion EUR (minus of 4.5 billion EUR for the entire year is expected). That’s as far as the negative news.

The good news: Siemens Energy will well be able to cover these losses (liquidity at over 4 billion EUR), even if this will have a very negative impact on the overall result for the current fiscal year and it could take one to two years to return to positive figures. Look at the bigger picture: The order intake worth tens of billions is reason to celebrate. In addition, the risk has now been named, so the stock market will be able to include this in its investment decisions. Investors with time to allow should profit from the turnaround through again rising share prices.

The stock market adage “buy on bad news” is the perfect as a basis for the invest in Siemens Energy. Because Siemens Energy with an order volume of over 110 billion EUR is virtually flooded with orders relating to energy security, hydrogen and the like, but there are not many companies in the world that as a one-stop shopping partner are able to offer everything from a single source. Many of the business units are doing very well and are highly profitable.

If the share price weakens further, 13 or even 12 EUR would be the perfect entry price as well as usable for the price reduction of old stocks. In two years, I expect prices of over 30 EUR.


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 – Company newly positioned

Hyzon Motors – Company newly positioned

The past few months have been extreme for Hyzon Motors, but all figures for the past two years since the IPO had to be reprocessed because of the accounting debacle, in order to comply with accounting guidelines and the conditions for listing on the stock exchange (quoted share price needed to be above 1 USD again, all quarterly reports available, deadlines met). All this has now been accomplished and there is clarity. In addition, the board of directors was newly formed and expanded to include experienced professionals.

The stock market has translated this – as I predicted – in the form of rising share prices, which involved a rapid increase from about 0.50 USD to just over 2 USD (company value rose from 150 to over 400 million USD). Recently, a marked decline in the price occurred again, which however in view of the company prospects should be transitory in nature.

To the figures: At the end of the second quarter, cash and cash equivalents still amounted to 172.4 million USD. The loss for the quarter in the amount of 60.2 million USD contains the high legal costs in connection with the SEC investigations and the necessary legal measures, for which 32 million USD was recorded and 28.5 million USD of that can be regarded as non-recurring.

The capital requirement per month is estimated at 9 to 12 million USD, with between 73 and 81 million USD of capital expected to be put to use in the second half of the year, and then in total 110 to 120 million USD in 2024. So the company is still well financed, but will surely have to raise capital in the course of 2024 (issuance of shares, loans, subsidies under the Inflation Act, etc.) or seek other forms of financing (convertible bond, participation by a strategic partner). Still unclear, however, is what the costs for the final report from the Securities and Exchange Commission for Hyzon will come to in year 2024.

Matthew Foulston new board member

Matthew Foulston has over thirty years of experience mainly in the automotive industry and there especially in the heavy haul industry. Among other things, he was CFO at Navistar Truck and CFO of Mazda North America as well as in top positions at Ford Motor. Hyzon will certainly have made a good choice in this regard that serves the company’s goals.

In addition, on August 24, 2023, current board member Erik Anderson was elected Chairman of the Board of Directors. Anderson succeeds George Gu, who stepped down from his position.

200‑kW fuel cell has reached milestone

The site in Rochester, New York will be closed down or sold to reduce costs. The 200‑kW stack that was developed in the production facilities and the corporate-owned research center in Bolingbrook, Illinois, on the other hand, is in test series and on the road. The start of production there and commercialization can therefore begin in 2024. In parallel, the fully automated production of the MEA (membrane electrode assembly) was set up. Now it’s on to the product design and acceptability. Another 16 prototypes are still to go through testing.

The 200‑kW stack (single stack) has many advantages compared to the competition, according to the press release on it, regarding the size, weight, range (more km per kg hydrogen), but also the price (25 percent lower). In addition, the service requirement is lower. Ten trucks have already been equipped for test runs with these 200‑kW stacks, three of them in Europe and seven in Australia. All very good news.

A global market of 68 million diesel-powered trucks can be retrofitted with such and thus contribute to decarbonization. The Inflation Reduction Act would come into play here to, as 60 million USD have been made available for processes for the reduction of diesel emissions, another 2 billion USD for related production facilities on US soil, another 3 billion USD for technologies that help technologically improve motor vehicle production, etc. Hyzon will surely be named some figures, as they expect subsidies out of these for themselves, since they’ve classified themselves as a “technology innovator.”

A good sign: The short sellers are stocking up. Over 20 million shares were still sold short a few months ago, so this number has fallen to under 13 million. After prices around 2 USD, it went back down, to 1.20 USD, although this could be seen as a reaction to the rise from 0.50 USD to 2 USD (profit taking, technical reaction). The current prices around 1.20 USD invite considerations again of buying.

Hyzon, likewise to Nikola and Ballard, is engaged in exactly the right market – the fuel cell in the commercial vehicle segment. Some orders in 2024 will drive the share price of Hyzon in the positive direction. Also the participation of a strategic investor is conceivable at any time. Hyzon is thinking about pursuing partnerships like that with Fontaine Modification (system integrator in USA) in others regions as well, like with partners present in Europe.

Tests with 110‑ and 120‑kW modules

Hyzon Motors also is transitionally positioning itself with its 110‑kW and 120‑kW modules. Already 15 test trials of FC trucks with customers (Performance Food, Airgas, Bison Transport, Talke, Total Transportation Services, MPREIS, Hylane and lastly Seaboard Transport) were able to be successfully completed. They were tested under extreme weather conditions and in all conceivable daily operations. Over 2,900 hours of continuous use of the FC systems and over 68,000 miles (110,000 km)in distance were clocked in the process. This test program is underway in Europe and the USA and is to be extended to Australia – with customer Remondis. The number of employees is to remain at around 380.

Partnership with Fontaine Modification

Hyzon builds, in contrast to Nikola Motors, no truck chassis of its own, but supplies the complete fuel cell module. The installation is carried out by companies such as Fontaine Modification from the USA as a system integrator for Hyzon. After all, Fontaine alone converts over 44,000 trucks for customers every year. With it, Hyzon has the perfect partner.

Fontaine Modification belongs to the holding company Marmon Holdings, which has a stake in over 100 companies from, among others, shipping and logistics, machine building and medical technology, with an annual turnover of 10 billion USD. Marmon Holdings in turn belongs to the investment portfolio of billionaire Warren Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway. For me, this can be used to justify the speculation that Marmon could make a stake in Hyzon in order to use the FC knowhow (patents, products) in-house for subsidiaries like Fontaine.

So you can well imagine that Hyzon is going with FC modules a way similar to Ballard Power with Ford Trucks or Nikola with Bosch, but could also become part of a larger strategic whole. Fontaine/Marmon could be this, but also companies like Cummins or automotive suppliers such as Dana or Magna could be considered. Or truck producers who themselves would like to have the FC powertrain in house, but have “slept through” the development. So Hyzon is becoming highly interesting, in addition to the growth prospects around the FC stacks, as an acquisition speculation.


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

The stock exchange is also guided by interests

The stock exchange is also guided by interests

Prices from 15 August 2021, ©

Prices from 15 August 2021, ©

The daily price fluctuations of the shares in the hydrogen and fuel cell sector discussed here – primarily those from the USA and Canada – give an indication that very different interests determine events here: Thus, on many days in July 2021, there was a concurrence of price declines with almost identical percentage losses in the prices of all these shares with manageable trading volumes at the same time. In other words: The buy side held back and the forces betting on falling prices had the upper hand. However, no selling pressure could be detected, which is reflected in the amount of shares traded. (more…)

Nikola Motors – Ex-Chief Executive Officer facing charges

Nikola Motors – Ex-Chief Executive Officer facing charges

Trevor Milton, © Nikola

Trevor Milton (l.), © Nikola

Former CEO, company founder and major shareholder (with an estimated 20 per cent of the company still owned) Trevor Milton has been charged with making “misleading, false statements directly to the investing public” via social media and television, print and podcast interviews, according to an SEC investigation. A court has frozen assets worth US$ 100 million belonging to Trevor Milton. However, the company has nothing to do with it. Construction work at the Coolidge plant is progressing according to plan. In parallel, there were various cooperation agreements with distributors as well as service points for repairs – now already 116. In addition, Nikola is expanding the sector of consumables – electricity supply contracts for battery-electric trucks as well as for the in-house production of hydrogen. The H2 infrastructure is being built in parallel. (more…)