ASX investors were looking to cash in on a growing push to go green in 2021. One grouping of investments on the receiving end of this trend has been ASX hydrogen shares.
The promise of clean and green energy extracted from water gained interest last year. From this, a number of ASX-listed companies dabbling in the space experienced extraordinary returns.
Let's hone in on the 5 hydrogen shares that performed the best in 2021.
5 powerhouse ASX-listed hydrogen shares of 2021
The topic of hydrogen energy dominated the headlines last year. Meanwhile, the following 5 companies decimated market returns. For context, the S&P/ASX 200 Index (ASX: XJO) produced a 13% return before dividends. Whereas, all of these ASX shares gained more than 100% during the 12-month period.
QEM Ltd (ASX: QEM)
Landing on our roundup of best performing ASX hydrogen shares of 2021 is exploration and project development company, QEM Ltd. Shares in the small-cap flew higher back in March of last year after it announced plans to pursue a green hydrogen strategy at its Julia Creek Project.
Since then, the company has undertaken studies to assess the use of solar and/or wind farms to produce green hydrogen. In July, QEM announced it had concluded that the project could accommodate a wind farm capable of outputting 126 megawatts of electricity.
With its plans progressing throughout the year, the QEM share price gained 125% in 2021.
Environmental Clean Technologies Ltd (ASX: ECT)
The next ASX hydrogen share making the top 5 is Environmental Clean Technologies Ltd. The way this company is dabbling in hydrogen energy is through its two technologies; HydroMOR and COHgen. Both of these technologies are centred around the use of lignite — also known as brown coal.
In November 2021, the company announced it had purchased the site for its proposed hydrogen refinery project. According to the release, the property spans 4.2 hectares in the Latrobe Valley next to the Yallourn mine and power station.
Shares in Environmental Clean Technologies gained 300% in 2021, making this company a four-bagger in one year.
Sparc Technologies Ltd (ASX: SPN)
Taking hydrogen energy to the next level, Sparc Technologies introduced the concept of 'ultra-green' hydrogen in 2021. In October, the company announced a joint venture with the University of Adelaide to develop this technology.
What sets Sparc's new concept apart from the rest is its plan to utilise direct solar radiation to produce hydrogen from water. This would remove the need for complex and expensive electrolysers, making the process of creating green hydrogen more economically viable.
This ASX hydrogen share skyrocketed an astonishing 423% during 2021, making it the third best-performing out of the bunch.
Pure Hydrogen Corporation CDI (ASX: PH2)
Despite plateauing between May and September, Pure Hydrogen Corporation was one of the best performing ASX hydrogen shares in 2021. A raft of announcements relating to planned hydrogen projects, funding, and technology saw this company rise to prominence last year.
In November, Pure Hydrogen announced it expected to have a waste hydrogen plant operational by the end of this year. This would be the first of its three planned facilities across Brisbane, Melbourne, and Sydney. Additionally, the plants are expected to supply at least 1,000 kilos of hydrogen per day for six years.
At the end of a record year for the company, shares in Pure Hydrogen notched up a 511% gain.
Province Resources Ltd (ASX: PRL)
Finally, with a mindboggling return of 1300% last year, the best performing ASX hydrogen share of 2021 was Province Resources Ltd.
The majority of this face-melting share price appreciation was accrued in the first few months of the year. Around this time Province Resources acquired Ozexco Pty Ltd, giving the company wind and solar resources, unlocking the potential for renewable green hydrogen.
Since then, Province has gone on to raise further funds to progress its planned HyEnergy Project.