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November 24th, 2023 | 07:00 CET

Renewable energies - which market environment currently offers the best investment opportunities for Altech Advanced Materials, Plug Power and Siemens Energy

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  • Technology
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Wind, hydrogen, electric batteries - in this article today, you can find out which renewable energy technology offers an exciting investment case for investors. Altech Advanced Materials AG is to build a battery plant in Germany, focusing on innovative anode technology that can increase the performance of batteries by around 30%. According to CEO Marsh, Plug Power has strong fundamentals, but is the market environment in the US and Europe ready for green hydrogen? In recent months, Siemens Energy experienced challenges in the wind sector, especially with the acquired wind energy company Siemens Gamesa, which still requires repair measures. Which market environment now offers good investment opportunities in renewables?

time to read: 5 minutes | Author: Juliane Zielonka
ISIN: Altech Advanced Materials AG | DE000A31C3Y4 , PLUG POWER INC. DL-_01 | US72919P2020 , SIEMENS ENERGY AG NA O.N. | DE000ENER6Y0

Table of contents:

    Competitive advantage in electromobility: Altech Advanced Materials relies on coated silicon for an impressive 30% increase in battery performance

    Altech Advanced Materials AG announces a strategic change leading to a significant increase in capacity as part of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) of the 'Silumina Anodes' Project. The definitive feasibility study is expected to be completed and published later this year. The planned plant in Schwarze Pumpe, Saxony, will now focus exclusively on the production of metallurgical silicon. This will increase the annual output from 15 GWh to 120 GWh in equivalent battery capacity.

    The pilot plant in Schwarze Pumpe, Saxony, is nearing completion and is expected to be operational early next year. Altech Advanced Materials will be present in the lithium-ion battery market with its innovative anode material 'Silumina Anodes'.

    With this strategic fit, Altech Advanced Materials is focusing on coated silicon as a critical material for higher-performing batteries. By focusing on silicon, battery manufacturers can produce batteries with a performance increase of around 30% with similar production parameters.

    The switch opens up the possibility for battery manufacturers to either produce batteries with higher energy density or maintain their current energy density while reducing the graphite content. This could lead to an attractive competitive advantage in electromobility.

    Altech Advanced Materials is currently in discussions with Ferroglobe, Altech's European silicon partner, to secure the supply of metallurgical grade silicon for the expanded 'Silumina Anodes' Project. The Company has also signed confidentiality agreements with leading automotive groups in Europe and the US.

    Plug Power defies stock market turbulence: CEO Marsh remains calm and emphasizes strong fundamentals

    Plug Power is experiencing a turbulent period on the stock market following a warning regarding its ability to do business on November 9. However, CEO Andy Marsh remains calm and emphasizes in an interview with Renewables Now that his company is well positioned in terms of fundamentals, has considerable cash and no debt. With USD 585 million in cash, USD 1 billion in restricted cash and USD 1 billion in inventory, the Company plans to raise USD 500 million to USD 750 million. Marsh expects a share recovery based on these balance sheet figures.

    The US hydrogen technology company is focusing on building its own network to produce green hydrogen. At the same time, the Company is doing business with the sale of fuel cell systems, material handling equipment, filling stations and electrolysers. This requires considerable investment and keeps the Company from profitability for the time being.

    Plug Power recorded the loss due to supply problems in the North American hydrogen network. Marsh forecasts stabilization as production plants are expected to reach capacity by the end of 2023.

    "Sometimes the headlines are much worse than the reality," Marsh reassures. He describes concerns about the share price as an overreaction. Although Plug recently reported a higher quarterly loss and expects further operating losses, the CEO has a clear plan.

    Marsh is aware of the challenges facing hydrogen projects in the US and Europe, calls for government support and emphasizes that the regulation of green hydrogen is still unclear. He sees government guarantees as key to accelerating projects. Given the government's involvement to accelerate, investors should carefully consider whether the pure fundamentals are sufficient to be profitable in a market environment with the five forces according to Porter in the near future.

    Siemens Energy problem child Siemens Gamesa - cost reduction of EUR 400 million by 2026

    Siemens wind energy problem child Gamesa plans to reduce costs by around EUR 400 million by 2026. The measures are intended to streamline the organization and optimize costs. The capacity of Siemens Gamesa's onshore wind turbines will be adjusted based on a revised product and market strategy. The Company plans to review its range of onshore products, rethink its markets, and streamline its service organization.* In plain language, this means: "We have messed up, and it remains unclear whether the subsidies from the state will come given the budget freeze*." But there is one glimmer of hope that investors have been pushing for: a feasible plan.

    Siemens Energy CEO Christian Bruch emphasized that Siemens Gamesa's turnaround is the top priority, and there is a clear plan to achieve profitability in the fiscal year 2026 and return to profitability thereafter.

    The statements come after Siemens Gamesa's severe loss of EUR 4.6 billion, caused by ongoing quality issues and ramp-up problems.

    Siemens Energy has recently secured a guarantee package of EUR 15 billion from Siemens AG to protect its order backlog. Siemens Gamesa will also reduce the number of turbine variants sold and temporarily suspend wind projects in "adjacent areas" such as hydrogen. For investors looking to diversify their portfolio with renewable energy, RWE is worth a closer look. The repair costs resulting from the multi-billion dollar error in the purchase of Siemens Gamesa wind turbines will keep Siemens Energy on its toes for years to come.

    The electric battery market demands innovation, and the willingness for more efficient technologies is clearly noticeable. Altech Advanced Materials AG promises a significant improvement with its strategic switch to silicon anodes, particularly with the impressive 30% increase in battery performance. This move could not only intensify competition but also represent a significant advance in electromobility. Investors can ask CEO Uwe Ahrens live questions about this case at the 9th International Investment Forum on December 5. You can register here. While renewables such as wind play an important role in the energy supply, they continue to face challenges in the storage sector. The volatility of wind power generation leads to difficulties in continuous energy supply, and this is where efficient storage technologies are crucial. In addition, Siemens Energy is struggling with the damage to wind turbines and the resulting cost pressure. Hydrogen technology, on the other hand, is still waiting for a clear legal framework. Uncertainty about regulatory aspects, especially concerning green hydrogen, is slowing progress. Plug Power CEO Marsh is hoping for legislative initiatives to unleash this technology's full potential.

    Conflict of interest

    Pursuant to §85 of the German Securities Trading Act (WpHG), we point out that Apaton Finance GmbH as well as partners, authors or employees of Apaton Finance GmbH (hereinafter referred to as "Relevant Persons") may hold shares or other financial instruments of the aforementioned companies in the future or may bet on rising or falling prices and thus a conflict of interest may arise in the future. The Relevant Persons reserve the right to buy or sell shares or other financial instruments of the Company at any time (hereinafter each a "Transaction"). Transactions may, under certain circumstances, influence the respective price of the shares or other financial instruments of the Company.

    In addition, Apaton Finance GmbH is active in the context of the preparation and publication of the reporting in paid contractual relationships.

    For this reason, there is a concrete conflict of interest.

    The above information on existing conflicts of interest applies to all types and forms of publication used by Apaton Finance GmbH for publications on companies.

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    Der Autor

    Juliane Zielonka

    Born in Bielefeld, she studied German, English and psychology. The emergence of the Internet in the early '90s led her from university to training in graphic design and marketing communications. After years of agency work in corporate branding, she switched to publishing and learned her editorial craft at Hubert Burda Media.

    About the author

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