by Craig Mellow | Barrons.com
Hydrogen power could be huge, eventually. If solar and wind are the energy of tomorrow, hydrogen is a candidate for the day after, explains Jonathan Waghorn, portfolio manager of SmartETFs Sustainable Energy II exchange-traded fund (ticker: SULR). If and when renewable sources start producing excess megawatts, hydrogen comes into play as a storage mechanism, or to convert that power into fuel cells for vehicles.
That could take too long for even long-term investors, Waghorn thinks. “I still remain to be convinced that the economics of hydrogen can work,” he says. But Asia may be changing the game. South Korean conglomerates Hyundai Motor (005380. Korea) and SK Holding (034730.Korea) recently announced multibillion-dollar investments that may start bridging the gap between hydrogen dreams and reality. China raised hydrogen’s profile in its latest five-year plan, and shows signs of picking national champions like Beijing Sinohytec (688339.China).