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Hydrogen stocks are continuing their hot streak in 2021


Pure-play hydrogen stocks have more soared over 110% over the past month, UBS pointed out in a note to clients on Tuesday, and that’s not even including some of the most interesting names in the market.

This followed a “big week” for the sub-sector, with a hat-trick of company announcements that “built on the first stages of commercial development in green hydrogen”, said UBS analyst Andrew Stott.

READ: Hydrogen investment 101 – what’s all the excitement, how will it work, who’s involved?

Namely, Germano-American giant Linde announced an investment in the world’s largest electrolyser alongside partner ITM Power (LON:ITM) to produce green hydrogen in Germany; then Renault launched a joint venture with fuel cell manufacturer Plug Power Inc (NASDAQ:PLUG) aiming to begin producing light commercial fuel cell vehicles early in 2022; and Johnson Matthey PLC (LON:JMAT) announced a contract for the sale of fuel cell components (MEAs) to SCF Energy, a German-based producer of fuel cells.

UBS sees a big potential impact of green (and blue) hydrogen on valuations for these relevant stocks, with upside potential for Air Liquide of €20 per share or 14% of its current share price, for Johnson Matthey at 714p per share or 26% of share price, and Linde’s upside potential at $23 per share or 9% upside from current share price.

Key upcoming hydrogen events highlighted by Stott include a first ever capital markets day from Norway’s NEL on January 21 and Air Liquide’s investor day on March 23.

This comes after pure-play hydrogen stocks (including Ballard Power, Plug Power, Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR), ITM and Nikola) surged 1,267% over a year, according to UBS.

A name they didn’t mention is AFC Energy PLC (LON:AFC), which is up 31% over the past month and up 255% over the past year.

Last week, the Surrey-based company has signed a strategic engineering collaboration with engineering consultancy Ricardo to find ways to exploit AFC’s alkaline fuel cell technology, particularly in the marine (shipping and ports), rail and stationary power generation markets, where Ricardo is seen as one of the market leaders.

Just before Christmas, AFC struck a deal with Swiss electrical systems giant ABB to develop products for the electric vehicle charger market.

Then there’s also Powerhouse Energy Group PLC (LON:PHE), which this week raised £10mln, with warrants potentially doubling that, to speed up development of its waste-to-hydrogen energy plants.

Powerhouse, with help from industrial giant Peel Group, is looking towards completing its first commercial-scale distributed modular generation (DMG) installation by the end of March.

WATCH: PowerHouse Energy ‘part of solution to the greatest environmental challenges of this decade’

Liberum analyst Adam Collins, in his latest ‘hydrogen highlights’ note, pointed out that the bus market may be a crucial market for hydrogen and decarbonising transport in general.

He noted that buses are a low cost and flexible option for transport decarbonisation, with every zero-emission bus (ZEB) eliminating 3.3mln pounds of CO2 over a 12 year-life, equivalent to the CO2 emissions from 28 cars per year.

Collins highlighted NFI Group Inc (TSE:NFI) in this sector, the leading US and UK ZEB manufacturer through its New Flyer and Alexander Dennis Ltd (ADL) arms.

NFI has the biggest position today in zero-emission battery and hydrogen buses and is developing a broad zero-emissions vehicle offer as a cornerstone of its future strategy.

In another recent note, Collins said that Scotland is becoming “a test-bed for hydrogen projects and for hydrogen world firsts”, with the world’s first hydrogen double-decker bus ordered by First Group (LON:FGP) in Glasgow and the world’s first 200-plus mile hydrogen fuel cell flight set to lift off in the first half of this year from the Orkney Island operated by ZeroAvia.

“There’s loads of hydrogen development projects underway reflecting the country’s proximity to offshore natural gas and also some of the best wind resource in the UK. In fact, 24GW of the UKs targeted 40GW offshore wind projects by 2030 relate to Scotland. As most visitors will know its not blessed with the biggest solar resource but has wind and tidal resources for green hydrogen production and access to methane for blue hydrogen in abundance.” 

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