Hydrogen industry: The intractable phase has passed?
2018-05-13 17:40:05

For the vast majority of people, hydrogen fuel cells seem to be very far away, and their remoteness seems to be similar to the space capsule in which Mars has established human habitation.

However, for the organizations that are laying out in the industry, they have already smelled the explosive atmosphere.

Listed companies quietly deploy hydrogen energy

In June 2016, after the introduction of the "Energy Technology Revolution and Innovation Action Plan (2016-2030)", some listed companies concerned about new energy began to quietly deploy hydrogen energy, which is summarized as follows:

In June 2016, the listed company Xiongyi (002733) held a 21.74% stake in Hydrogen Chuangneng through its wholly-owned subsidiary Shenzhen Pengyuan Automation Equipment Co., Ltd. At the end of 2017, the company's valuation was 800 million yuan.

In November 2016, Weichai Power (02338-HK) announced that it plans to invest RMB 49.95 million to subscribe for a 33.5% stake in Vorse and become its second largest shareholder. The subscription was completed in July 2017.

In May 2017, the listed company Yufu (SZ: 002427) announced that it had increased its capital by RMB 112.5 million to Wuhan Zhongyu with a post-investment valuation of 450 million, accounting for 25% of the company after the investment.

In August 2017, the listed company Kane shares invested in the establishment of Shieneng Hydrogen in Beijing, acquired a mature control system and its team from the UK, adopted a similar approach to Yihuatong, based on the ready-made system, to the two ends. extend.

At present, Xiongyi is negotiating mergers and acquisitions with Wuhan Science and Technology New Energy, and plans to build a 1200-acre hydrogen energy industrial park in Wuhan.

In addition, a number of listed companies have participated in the investment in Yihuatong. Several funds focused on hydrogen energy investment have been quietly launched, and there are also many powerful listed companies behind them.

It can be said that as of the end of 2017, hydrogen energy enterprises that have survived for a period of time in China have received strategic investment from listed companies.

As long as you have a chance to live

2017 may be the watershed for the development of China's hydrogen energy industry. It has been extremely difficult before, and it may come to work afterwards.

Before 2017, most of the hydrogen energy companies, especially those engaged in the R&D and production of electric reactors and their accessories, faced great difficulties in their operations.

The earliest pioneers - Xinyuan Power, Shanghai Shenli, Century Fuyuan, and Feiqi Green Energy, only Xinyuan Power, with the support of SAIC, can continue to operate.

Despite the support of a large amount of government science and technology research and development funds, Shenli has not improved its business and was eventually acquired by Yihuatong. Most of the founding team members have left. Century Fuyuan and Feiqiu Green Energy were sacrificed before the opportunity came.

Beijing Hydrogen and Suzhou Fuersai, the two companies founded around 2010, have struggled to develop into 2017 and finally got a strategic investment from listed companies. Moreover, in 2018, Beijing Hydrogen has already confirmed orders of more than 100 million yuan, and saw the dawn of development.

As long as you have a chance to live, it is a true portrayal of the hydrogen energy industry.

Hydrogen energy industry has seen a turning point in development

Since 2016, the state has introduced a series of policies aimed at promoting the development of hydrogen fuel vehicles, and is looking forward to overtaking in this area.

The high subsidies from the central and local governments have made the OEMs eager to try. In just over a year, more than 1,000 hydrogen fuel vehicles are on the road. Many automakers have taken hydrogen fuel cell vehicles as the strategic focus of their next development, forming a team and advanced layout.

The small targets are basically 500 to 1000 hydrogen fuel cell vehicles per year. For a time, the reactor became a hot commodity, and individual manufacturers began to expand production scale.

According to Academician Yi Baolian, due to the increase in the production of China's electric reactors, the carbon paper of Toray Corporation of Japan has been scheduled for two years.

It can be inferred that some companies in 2018 are expected to lose their long-term loss hats and usher in the first profit year in history.

The development track of the hydrogen energy industry is destined to be very different from the lithium battery industry.

Hydrogen energy and lithium electricity belong to the same industry of new energy vehicles. However, according to my personal point of view, the development track of lithium battery may not be suitable for hydrogen energy. The future of hydrogen energy cannot be simply predicted by the development law of lithium battery. There are three reasons:

First, the original role of lithium battery is to replace rechargeable batteries such as nickel-metal hydride batteries, that is, lithium batteries are replaced by similar products (although the voltage platform is slightly different). Therefore, even before lithium batteries are widely used in new energy vehicles, the lithium battery industry can survive and have a certain profit, but the scale is not very large.

Second, the power supply is spread all over the city, making the charging of lithium new energy vehicles in the early stage, charging is not an insurmountable problem.

Third, Tesla, who was born out of the world, led the development of the industry, and the star effect was irreplaceable.

Compared to lithium batteries, hydrogen can face more difficulties at the beginning.

First, hydrogen energy is a new type of energy. Its mission is to replace traditional energy sources, rather than similar products. The initial stage is difficult.

Second, the hydrogenation station is seriously depleted in the initial stage.

Third, there is no such alternative company as Tesla. At present, the enterprises engaged in research and development of hydrogen energy vehicles are traditional vehicle manufacturers, and it is difficult to have a sensational effect.

However, lithium battery vehicles also have obvious disadvantages in China.

First, the proportion of urban residents in China with fixed parking spaces is very low. The number of households with private charging piles is limited, and the construction of public charging piles is neither realistic nor economical.

Second, although some materials in the scrapped lithium battery can be recycled, there is pollution in their treatment.

Third, lithium batteries have potential safety hazards, although technically they can minimize this risk, but in theory, they cannot be completely eliminated.

Compared with these disadvantages of lithium battery, it is precisely the advantage of hydrogen energy. It is believed that hydrogen can have a better future in China.

In summary, hydrogen energy will not be like the lithium battery, once accepted by consumers, it will soon usher in the development opportunities, and need a gradual development process, waiting for the hydrogenation station and other supporting facilities gradually complete, the cost of key components With the gradual reduction in the popularity of mass production and new processes, the days of hydrogen fuel cell vehicles becoming the mainstream of new energy vehicles are bound to come.

Developing hydrogen energy industry is conducive to national security

On the one hand, China is a country with oil and gas scarcity and is highly dependent on imports. On the other hand, China is the world's largest hydrogen-rich country.

It is understood that the existing chlor-alkali plant by-product hydrogen can be collected for more than 2 million vehicles; China's rich new energy sources such as wind power, solar energy, used to electrolyze water (seawater) hydrogen production, mature technology, low cost, efficiency up to 70%.

In the long run, the development of hydrogen can help reduce dependence on oil and gas, and strategically, it is conducive to national security. In the near term, hydrogen energy is an effective supplement to new energy.

Investment opportunities in the hydrogen energy industry

At present, most of China's hydrogen energy companies are vertically developed. In addition to the new source power relying on the Dalian Institute of Chemical Industry, there is a certain amount of research and development accumulation in every part of the hydrogen fuel cell. The average company is extending in the vertical direction with one of its own strengths. As before, it is divided into system integration class and heap class.

For PE funds, companies that invest in system integration, such as Yihuatong and Shanghai Remodeling, can be invested. Such enterprises can solve the urgent problems of the automakers and have better cash flow.

For VC funds, the valuation of system integration companies is too high, such as billion Huatong's valuation of 2.2 billion yuan, PE more than 50 times. If the fund's duration is sufficient, it may wish to lay out the reactor research and development production enterprise or the core component of the reactor. It is also possible to consider advancing investment in upstream industries, such as hydrogen refueling station construction enterprises.

In addition, the layout of other applications around hydrogen energy is also a good choice. Some experts believe that fuel cell vehicles are only a part of hydrogen energy utilization, and energy storage and distributed energy will account for 80% of hydrogen energy utilization.

As for the future, after the hydrogen energy industry has developed to a relatively mature level, there may be horizontal development enterprises, such as specializing in certain materials, making the materials more extensive, better quality and better performance.

However, in the short term, the development of enterprises that focus on materials will be more difficult. After all, the development of the market will be transmitted to the forefront and it will take time.

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