While the wider world may be having a distinctly bleak 2020, the hydrogen power market seems to be finally hitting its stride, resulting in something of a boom in the shares of several firms leveraging the technology across numerous sectors.

The current drive is toward ‘green’ hydrogen, which does not require the burning of fossil fuels to produce, as the world moves to decarbonise its economy a deduce reliance on non-renewable energy. Storage technology is also moving to the fore as companies and governments look to make hydrogen energy more convenient and mobile for users.

Hydrogen energy storage is big business, with a 2019 report from Researchandmarkets.com forecasting that the market will reach a value of US$18.2bn by 2024 from US$13.7bn in 2019, a compound annual growth rate of 5.8%.

Demand for effective hydrogen storage is also rising in line with continued developments in hydrogen-powered cars, with multiple carmakers such as Hyundai, Honda and Toyota having already released hydrogen vehicles to the consumer market.

The Researchandmarkets.com report highlighted North America as the fastest growing market for hydrogen storage in the coming years, followed by Europe as fuel cell-based electric cars and infrastructure expanded across the two markets.

Share price power

Riding this growing wave of interest in hydrogen power is now beginning to pay off for several AIM companies.

AFC Energy PLC (LON:AFC), which manufacturers hydrogen generation and storage systems, has seen its stock rise just shy of 50% since the start of the year.

The group’s technology has also been picked up by the motorsports industry, with the group recently announcing a partnership with Extreme E, the team behind FIA’s Formula E racing championship, to provide off-grid power to a hydrogen-fuelled electric SUV rally racing series that is slated to launch in early 2021.

READ: AFC Energy teams up with Extreme E to fuel emission-free rally championship in 2021

Ceres Power Holdings PLC (LON:CWR), whose SteelCell solid oxide fuel cells can be used in a variety of settings including cars, homes and offices, is an even bigger winner from the hydrogen revolution with its shares having soared 112% in the year to date and placed it squarely among AIM’s top 50 companies.

The group currently has partnerships with a number of big hitters including Chinese engines giant Weichai Power, German engineering firm Bosch, US engine maker Cummins and Japanese carmakers Nissan and Honda.

READ: Ceres Power update reveals a robust performance

Ceres is expecting revenue for the period to June 30, 2020, to be in the region of £20mln, representing year-on-year growth of 20-25%, adding that it is expecting to sign more partnerships in the future.

Another key player in the fuel cell space and AIM top 50 constituent is ITM Power PLC (LON:ITM), which has seen its shares rocket 286% in the year to date.

ITM is currently cooperating with a number of major energy firms to boost the presence of hydrogen tech, having last year partnered with Royal Dutch Shell PLC (LON:RDSB) to open hydrogen refuelling stations at some of the oil giant’s service stations in the UK.