Green hydrogen kicks into high gear, but could the wheels come off?
The industry’s shares have soared 500% in the past year, but the frenzy has led to concerns about a bubble
An unprecedented rally in “green” hydrogen stocks looks set to extend as investors flock to companies that promise to produce the gas without using fossil fuels, expecting the technology to scale up over the next 10 years to justify rocketing valuations.
Hydrogen is Earth’s most abundant element but is mostly extracted from fossil fuels, emitting carbon dioxide in the process. “Green” or clean hydrogen requires using electrolysis to split water into its components of hydrogen and oxygen and doing so cheaply is often described as the holy grail of green energy transition.
Share prices of companies in the industry have soared more than 500% in the past year, driven by the rising adoption of zero-emission vehicles, a deadline set by many countries to go carbon-free by 2050 and lately Joe Biden’s support for clean energy. Plug Power, Ceres Power and Fuelcell Energy, which make hydrogen fuel cell systems that power devices ranging from warehouse machines to cars, are leading that charge, jumping 400% to 1,600% in the past year...