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Fuel Cell Technology Idea Proposal (BE, BLDP, FCEL, PLUG)

Fuel Cell Technology Idea Proposal (BE, BLDP, FCEL, PLUG)
Which fuel cell company offers the best technology, processes, management, and prospects for future success?

Report Available: February 12, 2021


Blueshift’s initial research found the hydrogen fuel cell industry enjoying tremendous political and industry momentum. In the global effort to decarbonize the planet, demand for clean energy alternatives in the mobility, industrial (e.g., steel production), and power sectors have rekindled interest in fuel cells and attracted vast amounts of capital. In addition, the new Biden administration and governments around the world have implanted or plan to implement carbon reduction regulations and favorable legislation incenting the fuel cell industry with research dollars, clean fleet and energy production programs. Challenges facing the industry include high cost structures, questions about operating at scale, and past periods of hype that have not come to fruition. If the hydrogen fuel cell economy does strengthen and prevail, all current players in the space could benefit or several standouts may be poised to rise above the rest and enjoy more staying power.



  1. The future of the fuel cell economy is hard to predict as looking back over the development of the technology shows clear boom and bust periods. The ‘60s and ‘70s saw strong backing for fuel cells as NASA adopted the technology for manned space flight and the oil crisis generated interest and some adoption. In the ‘80s interest waned in favor of battery technology and the electric economy. In the 2000s the global warming issue has again raised the interest level in fuel cells. Today, green renewable fuel cell technology is being purported to have a vital role in achieving deep decarbonization of the energy system.
  2. The market for hydrogen and fuel cells looks promising as the European Commission envisions 13%-14% of Europe’s energy coming from hydrogen by 2050. In the U.S., the new Biden administration’s executive order to rejoin the Paris climate accord, the revision of vehicle fuel economy and emissions standards, and cancelation of permits for the construction of the Keystone XL pipeline are all signs that it could be a boom time for hydrogen and fuel cells. A study of the fuel cell market’s growth potential indicates that the fuel cell market will grow at a CAGR of 65.86% during 2020-2025.
  3. Leading companies that have benefited from the renewed interest in fuel cells include BE, BLDP, FCEL, and PLUG. Their stocks have soared over the past year; however profits have been elusive. Over the past decade the fuel cell industry has proven to be a tough industry, with these companies experiencing consistent losses. It remains to be seen whether renewed interest in the sector will result in one or several fuel cell companies breaking out from the pack. Overcoming the previous challenges will be essential to their growth and sustainability, as will their ability to execute and scale up efficiently. These companies will also need to take on and stand apart from existing power technology companies like CMI, GE, CAT, and Doosan that are making investments in hydrogen.
  4. To become a viable industry and key component in the global decarbonization effort, significant challenges must be overcome. Today, 99% of hydrogen is produced from fossil fuels, usually through a pollution-heavy process. This must be switched to green renewable sources which remain costly despite recent declines. Transporting hydrogen is expensive and somewhat dangerous as it is volatile and must be kept under extreme pressure. Also, there is not widespread hydrogen infrastructure in place for refueling vehicles or recharging power stations.


Is the current boom in the fuel cell industry sustainable or is it facing another bust in the coming years? Which company is best positioned to lead the market? Which company has the strongest reputation? For which company is the current optimism warranted? What is the quality of each companies’ management and engineering professionals? Does one company truly have unique or superior technology? Can these companies scale up to meet a significant increase in demand? What must happen for the leaders in the fuel cell industry to reverse the decade of losses to become profitable? What is the revenue opportunity for these companies over the next 5 to 10 years? To answer these and other questions, Blueshift will gather data and issue a market research report from independent sources in the following areas: Fuel cell customers, Fuel cell sales and distribution channels, Supply chain, Competitors, and Industry specialists. 


Companies: Ballard Power Systems Inc. (BLDP), Bloom Energy Corp. (BE), FuelCell Energy Inc. (FCEL), Plug Power Inc. (PLUG), Air Products & Chemicals Inc. (APD), Caterpillar Inc. (CAT), Cummins Inc. (CMI), General Electric Corp. (GE), Doosan (KRX:336260)


Research Begins: January 25, 2021


To see other ideas Blueshift Research is currently working on, please click here.


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